Thursday, January 12, 2006

Google to offer personal home page for mobiles

The Google mobile train keeps on rolling. Reuters reprorts that the company is "now offering U.S. mobile phone users a personalized version of the Google home page tailored to work on most recently introduced mobile phones." The Google "Personalized Home page for mobile phones will allow consumers to conduct Web searches and check Gmail e-mail, news headlines, local weather reports or a list of stock prices -- all from one central page on their phones."

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin said giving consumers the ability to to get specific types of information via their handset is "hugely important" for increasing the use of the mobile Web. The fewer clicks it takes to get you to the place that has the information you need, the more likely you are to use the mobile phone for that purpose."

According to the article, "users who have already set up a personalized Google homepage on their computers can visit through the Web browser of their mobile device, select the "Personalized Home" link, and sign in to their Google account. The user is automatically signed in the next time they visit"

Other than the driving increased data usage, recent efforts like this from Google and Yahoo must be driving the network operators crazy. I just tested the service and it works just as advertised. It seems Google with their Google Local for Mobile app and now this are slowly assuming control of my handset.

By helping consumers circumvent carriers' networks, they are slowly becoming just a commoditized data conduit and an interchangeable part like the handset. With number portability, I can easliy upgrade to a newer handset and dump Cingular's snail-paced GPRS network for another carrier's 3G one. The only thing holding me back is trying to decide which handset. Its starting to sound a lot like the European market...