Yahoo! announced the production of oneConnect - their newest mobile product expected to be available by Q2 2008. According to Yahoo! oneConnect will be the first mobile product with an open architecture that aggregates communications tools - email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging (SMS), and social networks - for a new level of convenience in mobile communications.
In particular it is expected to offer:
1. Socially-connected address book - provides users the capability to integrate activities from popular social networks, professional networks, and communities into their address book, keeping it always in sync. Consumers will be able to view status updates, photo uploads, and the recent activity of contacts across all of their networks.
2. Integrated mobile messaging - offers seamless integration of IM and SMS, including threaded conversations. Any messaging service will be able to use Yahoo! oneConnect's open APIs to plug into the application's messaging feature - enabling consumers to access a wide range of popular services, such as Yahoo! Messenger, Google(R) Talk, AOL(R) Instant Messenger and MSN(TM) Messenger.
3. Status - gives consumers the capability to view their contacts by their most recent status updates on popular social networks, as well as update their own status on their favorite social networks - in one easy step - and automatically broadcast it to their friends.
4. Pulse - provides consumers the functionality to see a dynamic overview of what friends are up to, including recent photos, their status, profile updates, and recommendations based on their most recent actions on popular social networks.
5. Favorites - keeps the consumers interact with most at their fingertips. Users will be able to set up messaging shortcuts to make reaching out as quick as possible.
6. Social contact card - allows users to aggregate the most relevant information on any given contact which also includes archives of past communications, detailed pulse history, and one-click ways to initiate communication.
7. Location-sensing technology - provides new ways to locate, chat with, and exchange contact information with nearby Yahoo! oneConnect users. Proximity alerts will notify consumers when contacts enters their vicinity.
8. Open communications platform - gives users the functionality to communicate via multiple communications tools - such as IM, SMS, and social networks. Widgets will provide users the capability to access their email across major email providers, such as Yahoo! Mail, MSN Hotmail(R), Gmail(R), and AOL(R) Mail. Additionally, Yahoo! is in discussions with DataViz(R), a company that allows mobile users to access their corporate Microsoft Exchange(TM) email accounts and Microsoft Office(TM) documents, to work together on widget versions of its industry-acclaimed RoadSynch(R) and Documents To Go(R) applications.
Yahoo! trying to keep up:
With this Yahoo! is trying to keep up with recent developments revolving around the future mobile ads market. Only months ago it was Google who opened fire on it's rivals by forming the Open Handset Alliance with big players such as Intel, HTC, Motorola, Samsung and others to roll out with their first product, Android: an open source mobile phone platform supposed to fortify Google's position in the mobile market.
oneConnect can thus be seen as two things: an attempt to win over customers with connectivity tools rather now before Android is capable to offer similar tools by different providers as well as an alternative for devices by non-OHA players which still contribute a big share of the market.
But with the current take-over battle going on between Yahoo! and Microsoft, it remains hard to foresee which mobile alliances and dependencies may be forged in the near future. Rumors have it that Google and Yahoo! even plan to combine efforts to fight off the Microsoft offer. With this in mind it only appears logical for Yahoo! trying to seize an early stronghold in the mobile world before having to enter into any possible negotiations.