Hands-On With Yahoo oneConnect for iPhone

Did you hear? Social networking is quite the trend. And while there are plenty of ways to get your fix on the iPhone, the new Yahoo oneConnect connects the dots between multiple services, all while combining instant messaging and SMS. We went hands-on with this app here at CTIA Fall 2008 and came away impressed with the user interface, although we hope to see more instant messaging services supported soon other than Yahoo’s. Here’s the quick rundown: Works with multiple services: Right now Yahoo has partnerships in place with Bebo, Dropplr, Facebook, Flickr, hi5, Last.fm, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube, with more to come. Integrated Address Book with Status: oneConnect combines your Yahoo Address book, phonebook, and social networking contacts in one entity. Plus, you can see who is online and who is using what service at any given time. Yahoo calls this feature Pulse, and it worked pretty well in our demo. SMS and IM Combined: We love that you can toggle between sending a text message and instant message with just a single tap on the iPhone’s screen. For the moment Yahoo Instant Messenger is the only option on the IM side, but Yahoo hopes that other services take advantage of its Open APIs, which would bring Google Talk, AOL, and MSN to the mix. Location Aware Although we haven’t seen this feature in action yet, the iPhone version of oneConnect should be able to alert you when friends enter your vicinity. Accelerometer Eye Candy It’s more fun than essential but we did appreciate that when you turn the iPhone horizontally when looking at a contact you change how the avatar looks, which is a nice piece of customization. When in messaging mode, you can follow your conversation thread form left to right, and it has a quasi comic book panel-like feel. Yahoo oneConnect is available now for the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. Stay tuned for a full review.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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