Yahoo Taps Android for Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-07-01

Yahoo July 1 launched Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger applications for Android as well as a search widget for the operating system created by Google for smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices.

The Yahoo Search Widget for Android, available free in the U.S. through the Market for Android 2.0 and newer, puts a Yahoo Search box on the home screen of an Android phone.

Yahoo Mail for Android will let users receive push notification of new e-mail messages; send e-mails to contacts from the Yahoo Address Book and to contacts in the native phone address book; search e-mail messages; and upload photos from the phone's camera or the photo gallery.

Yahoo Messenger for Android will let users send instant messages to friends, check their status updates and update their personal status and availability and, as with the Yahoo Mail for Android app, send photos to friends directly from the phone's camera or photo gallery.

The Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger Android apps are available globally for Android 2.0 devices and higher as free downloads in the Android Market.

The apps will work on devices such as Google's Nexus One, the Motorola Droid and forthcoming Motorola Droid X, the HTC Droid Incredible, and the HTC Evo 4G.

In other Yahoo mobile messaging news, Yahoo rewrote Yahoo Mail and Yahoo News for mobile with HTML5 to "give consumers a faster and more sophisticated mobile browsing experience."

Available globally in 28 languages across 200 countries, Yahoo Mail is optimized for iPhone and iPod Touch and is expected to be available across other Webkit-enabled browsers in the future.

A new Yahoo News layout sports animated visual effects and navigation that uses touch gestures. The new Yahoo News is currently available in the U.S. on the iPhone or iPod Touch browser.

While young popular Internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter already boast applications for Android-based devices, this is the first time Yahoo's has forged apps for Android.

Yahoo's delays to market in Android and other areas of the Web are a big reason why Yahoo has struggled for growth in an Internet era now dominated by Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The company can't afford that lag time at a time when it is angling to keep as many of its 300 million Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger users as possible from going to other more modern services.

Supporting the two rising smartphone platforms in Apple's iPhone and Google's Android is one way to make sure its users are able to access their content from mobile devices.

Yahoo is getting the picture. While the company reportedly failed to acquire location-based check-in service Foursquare, it acquired Indian check-in service Koprol last month.

Yahoo also deeply integrates with Facebook, one of the Internet companies that is making it tough for Yahoo to grow its user base.

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