Yahoo Debuts iPhone oneConnect App, Updates Blueprint Platform

Yahoo oneConnect acts as a social address book that lets users integrate contacts and mobile messaging with friends via IMs, SMS and Yahoo Messenger, and includes support for avatars, photos, and emoticons. The address book integrates contacts from the user's Yahoo Address Book, and iPhone.

The Pulse feature lets users see the latest happenings on various social sites.The initial version of Yahoo! oneConnect supports networks including Bebo, Dopplr, Facebook, Flickr, Friendster,, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. So far, the app is only available for the iPhone and iPod touch in the U.S. To download oneConnect from iTunes users need the iPhone 2.0 software update. Yahoo said that future releases oneConnect will support other mobile devices and will become available globally.

Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Yahoo Connected Life, also presented previews of an updated version of Yahoo Blueprint, the company's mobile development platform. Boerries said that Yahoo is using Blueprint internally to develop iPhone applications. The company is also in discussions with Apple about making Blueprint for the iPhone available to other developers, he said.

"Developing applications for the fragmented mobile ecosystem is a Herculean effort that often results in developers creating an application that serves the least common denominator of mobile devices with a poor user experience, and an inability to effectively scale," said Boerries in a statement. "Yahoo Blueprint solves the most challenging problem plaguing today's mobile landscape -- now with one click, you can write once and have mobile services run across a critical mass of devices and operating systems, potentially reaching millions of users."

Boerries said that developers can use Yahoo Blueprint to build standalone applications for Java, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, as well as create mobile Web sites accessible via virtually any HTML or xHTML mobile browser. By using Blueprint, users will have faster development time, and will be able to develop mobile content quicker and more efficiently. Boerries also said that Blueprint has a more powerful feature set, such as maps and location based services.

More features will be announced in the near feature. Another feature of Blueprint is that it can be run across a range of phones, from low-end devices to smart phones. Blueprint is also completely open, Yahoo said, and anyone can develop apps with customizable features.

Yahoo Blueprint contains a full SDK for third-party developers. By submitting Yahoo Blueprint apps to Yahoo's mobile widget gallery, developers can make their apps available potentially to millions of mobile users, the company said. So far, mobile users have downloaded apps written in Yahoo Blueprint across thousands of mobile devices from manufactures such as Research in Motion, Nokia, Motorola, and others, the company.

Yahoo's new Fantasy Football mobile widget was also written in Yahoo Blueprint, said Boerries. Other products written in Blueprint include the mobile widget gallery in Yahoo Go 3.0 with content from eBay, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and ABC News. A full-scale release of the updated Blueprint is slated for the end of the year.