Thursday, January 12, 2006

Forrester: Google enables personalized content, RSS on mobile phones

Maybe the mobile analysts are too wiped out from CES and MacWorld, but Google's personal home page for mobiles seems to have caught them off guard for the time being. Search analyst Charlene Li at Forrester Research provides her take on the news at her blog. After speaking with Google, Li cites the three reasons why they did this:

  1. the phone is a very personal device, so the experience on the phone should be personal
  2. they figured out a way so that network latency issues are minimized
  3. all of the information is available on the home screen -- you can quickly see how many emails are in Gmail, what the weather is, and your top RSS feeds
As Li notes, Google is positioning this "as vastly different from Yahoo! Go Mobile, where information is still a click (and wait) away. Also, Yahoo! Go requires a download while the new Google service is available with just the browser." Li concludes that it is:
finally, an easy way to get my RSS feeds on my Blackberry! I'll be setting up my Google personalized page primarily for mobile reading. This is a new habit of mine -- depending on where I read my RSS content, I want different configurations of different content. For example, I have ALL of my feeds coming into FeedDemon, which I use as a backup. I then read all of my backlogged feeds (aka non-priority feeds) when I'm traveling and offline. There are my regular feeds that I get through both Bloglines and Google Sidebar (again I use Bloglines as a backup because I can read it anywhere, Sidebar because it's easy and accessible at all times). And now, I'll add some crucial must reads to my Google page for my mobile information needs.
I can't wait to see some analysis from the mobile folks and their thoughts on the impact this will have on the carriers. For me, my smartphone is really just an extension of my Internet habits when I'm at a PC. This seems to be where things are heading with or without the network operators' blessing...