Yahoo's new mobile apps, HTC's updated WinMo UI and a new multi-platform app called 3deep are all chasing after the Palm Pre's Synergy functionality, gathering all social media/location aware services in one place.
The Synergy functionality on the Palm Pre really kick-started this craze back in January, when Palm debuted the system of integrating all your web services into their native UI. This week, at the CTIA phone show in Vegas, it seems like everyone wants a piece of this action. Lets look at some of the contenders.
Yahoo Mobile Apps
Yahoo released a torrent of apps on the public this week, which aim to reinvent how you access their services on a mobile basis. Yahoo's Mobile Apps and Portals allow you to:
• Look up your Yahoo contacts
• Check statuses of those contacts and look up your own
• Access yahoo mail and messenger
• Sign into your Oneconnect account for social media updates
• Import RSS feeds and Yahoo content modules for news, sports scores, weather and all that crap
All of this comes together in one place so you don't have to launch 10 different mobile apps to manage this stuff. Good if you're a heavy user of Yahoo services. This service is available via mobile browser, plus there's a standalone app for the iPhone and a Yahoo Go app for the other major platforms (WinMo, Blackberry, Symbian, etc...) which gather all the services into a navigable UI.
3deep was one of the most impressive mobile apps at CTIA. The idea behind it is that you can manage your calendar, contacts, social media and mail all from a single app, with location-aware integration. It's coming out for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, iPhone, Symbian and Android in the coming weeks, if all goes according to plan. Some of the features include:
• The ability to track location, availablilty and presence—meaning it knows where you're going, what your doing there, how long you'll be there and who you want to meet with most
• "Tell Me When" functionality gives you alerts when selected contacts arrive at a specific location, when they're available to talk/meet, or conversely, will send a shout out when you do the same
• Informatilon on whether it's best to call, SMS, email or IM a selected contact
• Updates from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc....
• Calendar and mail management. Plus auto-integration from your computer and phone cals
• Open API so any developer can make their service compatible with 3deep
While a live demo wasn't available, 3deep reiterated this app would be available as a free download sometime in the next couple weeks. This is some serious Stalker 2.0 right here. Facebook has nothing on 3deep.
HTC TouchFlo 3D
HTC's updated (and upcoming) TouchFlo 3D continues to streamline its design so that it's easier to get pertinent contact info from a single screen. Now using their new tabbed contact screen, you can quickly get up to speed with your friends, including the ability to:
• Check call, email and SMS history.
• Check updates and activity to social media services (Facebook, Skype, etc...)
• Easily send emails, text messages and place calls from the same screen.
• Check upcoming calendar events for a selected contact (if you have their shared cal)
TouchFlo 3D will be available on the Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond 2 when they launch in the second half of 2009.
The emerging trend is making sure you can communicate and collaborate with your contacts through a variety of mediums and services, all through one control panel. For the most part, it's done with a degree of visual polish. This is good, because if Web 2.0 can't move to the mobile space gracefully, we're all in for some headaches.