Yahoo! drops Java app plans

May 20, 2009 // 2:54 p.m.

Tags: #browser #internet #iphone #java #java-applet #midp #search #smartphone #yahoo #yahoo-mobile

Yahoo! has officially dropped plans for a Java-based application for mobile 'phones in favour of an mobile-oriented version of its website.

As reported over on TechCrunch, the search company has announced to beta testers of its pre-release Yahoo! Mobile application for Java-enabled handsets that it is to “cease development of the Yahoo! Mobile smartphone app effective Wednesday, May 20th.

Despite this sudden change of plan, development of the recently released Yahoo! iPhone application is still going ahead – with users of other handsets advised to simply use the company's redesigned mobile portal for their Yahoo! needs.

The widget-based layout of the Yahoo! Mobile application had peaked the curiosity of beta testers eager to try the software out, but lacked the unified interface of the iPhone and web-based offerings: where the website allows access to web search, RSS feeds, and the company's social networking products, the Java application was a collection of disparate widgets which provided access to weather, maps, and social networking along with a shortcut which launched the default browser.

However, the move doesn't spell the end for Yahoo! on smartphones other than Apple's iPhone: a redesigned BlackBerry application which aims to bring a better interface than was originally planned for the Java app is reportedly in the works, along with versions for “other mobile platforms.

In the meantime, Yahoo! is looking to concentrate on tweaking the Yahoo! Mobile portal, and ensuring that iPhone users get something impressive to show to their friends.

Any Yahoo! beta testers saddened to receive notification that the Java app wasn't going ahead, or is the new mobile portal all the Yahoo! you need on your smartphone? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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