While there wasn’t a whole lot of Google Android news out of CES this year, Yahoo did release an update to their dandy little mobile web portal Yahoo Go!, and Google could learn a thing or two from Go as Android gets closer and closer to market.
Go! is Yahoo’s attempt to deliver their content to multiple devices regardless of manufacturer or carrier, and you know what? It does a pretty good job of it. Go! 3.0 in it’s beta form fixed some issues with the previous version, but the biggest addition is the ability to add your own widgets from other sites, giving you more options to customize it to your liking. The more I used Go! the more I began to realize what I wanted out of Google’s Android. If you’ve never seen or used Yahoo Go!, it’s a program that you must install, then run on your handset. It essentially does away with the need to log onto Yahoo.com to access Yahoo’s content. Email, news headlines, stock updates, sports, and even a search engine are all included. I began to think “what if there was some way to make Yahoo Go! the backbone of my handset?” I would still need access to my phone book and contacts, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to implement.
I would never need to “log in” to check my favorite news topics, or check on my favorite teams. The web would always be on, which would make life more efficient, and in the end isn’t that what we all want? With my current set up (Nokia N95) if I want to search for something online I have to open up my browser, choose my access point, access my bookmark for Google, then wait for the page to load. If I had an always on option, all I would have to do is locate the search section and start typing! How much time would this save? If I wanted to check how my favorite teams were doing in the playoffs I would only have to go to that section and click on my team, instead of logging into a website and waiting for several pages to load. Now, I know I can have alerts delivered to my phone, but wouldn’t you prefer to have it in “real time” rather than wait for an alert at the top or bottom of the hour?
I know there are a few things that may prevent Android from having this option in the beginning, and the most obvious to me is affordable data plans from wireless carriers. I think T-Mobile offers the most competitive options because their unlimited plan is only $29.99 a month when attached to a voice plan. The lack of high speed mobile access across the country may also be a detriment, but I think “always on” could even work with EDGE technology. If Google is serious about making the internet more accessible on mobile devices I think this would be a huge step in the right direction. Not only would it enrich our web browsing experience, but it could also have a profound effect on the future designs of mobile phones and devices.