AOL Android Apps, HTML5 Site Target Mobile Consumers
AOL July 22 moved to shore up its mobile offerings, launching two Google Android applications and opening a new smartphone portal and mobile Website.
The company, which is working hard to transform into an Internet-content provider, is making a big bet on mobile to compete for eyeballs with Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Many users are accessing the Web on the go from smartphones fitted with full HTML Web browsers. Google, Facebook and Twitter now are vying to show these mobile users online ads.
AOL's smartphone portal, m.aol.com, supports HTML5 to render content as fast and fresh as any mobile Website.
Users with Apple's iPhone and Android smartphones will be able to rapidly scroll through articles and content. Consumers will also be able to leverage location-based services for local weather, movie, traffic and other content.
The AOL Mobile Website lets users select their iPhone, Android or Blackberry phone to see a list of apps and properties the company supports.
The site also pulls content from AOL properties such as Engadget, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and AOL News.
Finally, AOL is offering two Android apps. An extension for the AOL Mobile Website that users can download to their Android smartphone, AOL for Android helps users consume content from AOL's properties. Users can also access AOL Mail and MapQuest.
The AOL DailyFinance app for Android helps users track up to 25 portfolios and receive real-time stock quotes and financial news.
AOL Vice President of Mobile David Temkin said AOL chose Android as the go-to platform for these apps because "Android has emerged as a top-tier smartphone platform."
"While we'll continue to focus on development for multiple mobile platforms, this time, we are releasing an early version of an app on Android first," he added.
The vote of confidence for Android over the prestigious Apple iPhone should provide a boost for a platform with a third of the market share and an App Store with more than 225,000 apps.
Android Market currently registers 70,000 apps, but manufacturers are shipping 160,000 Android phones each day.
The market for tablets is an even greener field. Apple's iPad has stormed its way to more than 3 million units shipped in three weeks.
Android tablets are on the way from Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and even Google and Verizon.