Friday, January 13, 2006

Forrester: Another take on Google Personalized Home for Mobile

Following her post yesterday on Google 's personalized mobile page, Charlene Li at Forrester Resarch hands the reins over to her blog to her mobile colleague, Charlie Golvin, to give his thoughts on the service. Golvin writes that "the mobile Internet is a different experience from the PC Internet — as it should be. The applications tend to fall into one of two categories:

  1. Information with a short half life (think stock alert or ebay outbid notice);
  2. Time killers (think Tetris or a 3 minute Daily Show clip).
Golvin states:
Google looks to have done a good job of addressing some of the shortcomings in the first category, because your personalized home page — configured on your desktop, not your phone — is something you can arrange to have the resources that provide the information you know you’re likely to need when you’re on the go (like Charlene’s RSS feed). And also because they’ve streamlined the delivery of that information, ensuring that the delay between clicking on Google and getting the information you want is as short as possible (to the extent they can influence that).

Finally, they’ve chosen the platform that allows them to reach as many consumers as possible with the lowest barrier — xHTML browsers. This last point is in stark contrast to Yahoo!, which is limited to some Nokia Series 60 devices today and requires a somewhat convoluted download and installation process on some of them (like my 7610). Down the road Yahoo! will bear much higher development costs to reach their broad audience.
Golvin is not sure all of this will make a difference with"Yahoo! or MSN loyalists who have invested in personalizing their experience." However, he notes that for those folks where the investment is lower or don't mind setting up "a personal page in order to make the mobile Internet more useful" such as Charlene Li’s "willing to do it just to get her RSS feeds more efficiently" then it might make sense.

I usually don't use the personalized Google page on my PC so configuring it for mobile use is pretty easy. I can check my Gmail for this blog as well as other tidbits of info. I wish more was on offer to help further personalize the page, but it's a start...