Yahoo! returns to form and creates SDK for mobile revolution

12 Sep 2008

After wandering in the desert of mergers and acquisitions like a lost sheep, internet portal Yahoo! has escaped its creative vacuum and has developed a new mobile development platform for widgets for a variety of Java, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, including the iconic iPhone.

The company has unveiled a new mobile development platform called Blueprint, that in addition to creating widgets to run with in its flagship Yahoo! Go mobile application, will allow developers to build standalone applications for Java, Windows and Symbian devices.

Developers can also use Blueprint to create mobile websites accessible via any HTML or xHTML mobile browser.

The company also revealed a plan to support developers in creating iPhone-optimised applications from their Yahoo! Blueprint code.

“Developing applications for the fragmented mobile ecosystem is a Herculean effort that often results in developers creating an application that serves the least common denominator of mobile devices with a poor user experience, and an inability to effectively scale,” said Marco Boerries, executive vice-president, Yahoo! Connected Life.

“Yahoo! Blueprint solves the most challenging problem plaguing today’s mobile landscape – now, with one click, you can write once and have mobile services run across a critical mass of devices and operating systems, potentially reaching millions of users. We believe Yahoo! Blueprint is simply the best way to create mobile internet services – and we expect will change the world of mobile development moving forward.”

The move into mobile application development is potentially more important than building a new operating system like Google’s Android, said analyst Michael Gartenberg, vice-president of mobile strategy at Jupitermedia.

“Yahoo! Blueprint will enable developers to write their application and get distribution across many devices – ultimately achieving Yahoo!’s goal of reaching hundreds of millions of users,” Gartenberg said.

The new Blueprint platform promises faster development time, simple user interface, the ability to create maps and location-based services, the ability for anyone to develop an application with monetisation options and the fact that it can work across thousands of device types.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years