Web companies becoming mobile-friendly

* Web apps for a mobile world

For those of us who use a mobile device to get e-mail and to access the Internet, few things are as irritating as looking at a small screen of five-line URLs, accompanied by multiple minutes it takes to access the information the URLs represent on the screen.

While companies such as Research in Motion (RIM) have come closer to perfection with mobile applications such as e-mail text on a BlackBerry, using a search engine portal like those offered by Google or Yahoo can still be painful. But progress is taking shape for more efficient mobile applications.

Two weeks ago, Yahoo announced that it would expand its partnership established with Motorola last year. The two companies have signed a new multi-year agreement for Motorola to "distribute Yahoo Go for Mobile on tens of millions of new Motorola mobile devices."

Yahoo Go for Mobile provides access to many applications including e-mail, search engines, and synchronized contact lists. It is designed to take into account small handset screens and narrowband access to the applications servers.

Under the agreement, the companies will "jointly market the Motorola devices with Yahoo Go for Mobile pre-installed through their online networks, device packaging and other targeted channels."

For a complete list of the Yahoo Go service features and an on-screen demonstration of the service, please click here. (Hint: try the demo-its fun!)

And last week, Google announced it is offering its popular Google Maps service specifically tailored to mobile devices. Google already offers other applications designed for mobile users, including e-mail, news services, and a search portal. For a complete list of Google's features for mobile users, click here.

We're pleased to see more mobile applications and increasingly efficient ways to access information - especially endorsed with product portfolio growth from Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo. Maybe one of these days, all those five-line URLs will go away and we can have one less thing to be irritated about.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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