Just as everyone is preparing to experience the real Internet on their mobile, Yahoo updated their mobile client, Go today. I have to say I was pretty excited to try it out on my Nokia N95 and downloaded it first thing this morning. Unfortunately my excitement was crushed pretty quickly.
After you sign in Yahoo Go attempts to connect and pull down any of your personalized info from the various services (maps, mail, flickr, weather news, entertainment etc…) or so I thought. Other than Mail and Flickr, I did not see anything actually personal – like I live in Katonah, NY, not Times Square and that’s where I like to see my local stuff thank you very much.
The application is elegantly designed and I like how they’ve structured things but it is brutally slow. You move laterally between widgets, but the movement happens in slow motion and you have to then wait for things to connect and load in most of the areas. The basic headlines are ready in news and entertainment, but I found Flickr to be far too slow to use. The N95 is hardly a slouch in speed but there’s something wacky going on here for it to run as slowly as it does. The previous version of Yahoo Go, which I never understood was more of a bookmark system into the Yahoo services which opened in your browser and I’m thinking that’s a better idea. Zurfer, the Yahoo Research labs application for Flickr offers similar functions to the Yahoo Go Flickr widget but I like it better and appreciate that it does one thing well and actually works on my cellular connection.
To top it off, Yahoo Go was not able to locate me with GPS (a cool option if it worked) and dropped my Wifi connection frequently which resulted in continuous errors. When it was connected, I foudn myself putting the phone down while it did it’s tasks since there was no point in simply staring at the screen for minutes at a time while the phone was busy.
Perhaps Yahoo Go’s main audience is a more mass oriented handset user who would not be able to do much of this otherwise. They do seem to have carrier partnerships as well as a retail partner with Best Buy. In my case, it was a good try, but I’m deleting this app and hope I save you the trouble.