OnSoftware returned to the World Mobile Congress today to find the mobile industry in more subdued and relaxed mood than yesterday’s frenzied first day. As the excitement from the first look at the Palm Pre and the unveiling of Windows Mobile 6.5 wore off, day two offered us more time to explore some of the most interesting mobile applications unveiled at the event. Here’s a round-up of what caught our eye:
Yahoo! Mobile: Perhaps the biggest-profile launch of the day in terms of apps was the new Yahoo! Mobile service. The new app is basically a front-end for the Web on your mobile. The software includes oneSearch, which facilitates quicker access by second guessing the user to provide the most current and relevant search results. But what really caught our eye was the oneConnect tool in Yahoo! Mobile, which pulls email, social network updates and instant messaging into one place. An added boon is that the smartphone version of application comes bundled with Opera Mini 4.2, arguably the best mobile browser in the World. Yahoo! Mobile will be released later this year in a range of guises, on devices such as the iPhone, Windows Mobile handsets, and smartphones from Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson.
Skype: Last night we managed to take a sneaky peak at the new Skype 3.0 for Windows Mobile Beta. Chatting with the Skype team at the event, the company seems to be really focused on bringing its mobile product in-line with the desktop version as soon as possible. Version 3.0 goes someway to doing this, adding file transfer support, and offering users the ability to send text messages to each other via the software. The company also announced that version 2.5 of Skype for Windows Mobile is now out of beta and available to download as a Gold release. Today, Skype also revealed that the product will be pre-installed on Nokia N-series devices, starting with the N97, and also released a lite version of Skype for Android.
Flash for mobile: Adobe has announced that a fully-fledged version of Flash will be coming to a whole range of smartphones, including Windows Mobile, Android, Nokia S60, and the new Palm OS. The product managers on the Adobe stand seemed genuinely interested in making it as easy as possible for mobile software developers to get their apps out to as many platforms as possible with the minimum of fuss. That said, they wouldn’t be drawn on if/when Flash will come to the iPhone. There was more good news for developers though, as Adobe announced an SDK for its Reader software, allowing third parties to develop mobile apps supporting the PDF format.
Opening doors: The theme for today’s second keynote was “towards an open mobile ecosystem”, where the top brass from Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T delivered their views on how the industry should work together to improve mobile experiences. The main gist of the talks centred around the idea that by sharing ideas, resources and technology, mobile companies can still move forward in a time of global economic downturn. It sounds all nice and rosy in theory but things are never that simple in the dog-eat-dog world of business.