Google enables personalized content, RSS on mobile phones
By Charlene Li
Just got off the phone with Deep Nashir, product manager for Google mobile products. Google just made its personalized home page accessible on mobile devices with an XHTML-capable Web browser. The announcement of Google Personalized Home and details for a Web-enabled demo are below.
Deep had three reasons for 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. Deep positioned 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
Interestingly, Google sets the default order of the content, and when asked whether user could customize the ordering, Deep said cryptically, "That feature is not available today," which implies that it will soon be.
My take: 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.
Here's the announcement:
Today, Google continued the expansion of its mobile offerings with the announcement of Google Personalized Home for mobile devices, a new service that enables users’ access to their personalized Google homepage on their mobile phones and PDAs. With Personalized Home, users on-the-go can view the information they access most frequently from one screen on their mobile device. For example, business travelers can easily keep up with their personal stock quotes while they're on the road, and news junkies can stay on top of their favorite headlines when they're away from their desktops and TVs - all without having to search multiple web pages from a mobile device.
Google Personalized Home provides at-a-glance access to information such as Gmail, customized news headlines, local weather, stock updates, hand-picked RSS feeds and more. Information is optimized for the smaller screens and slower bandwidth of most mobile devices and is presented in a format that reduces the need to click multiple links.
Users who have already setup a personalized Google homepage on their PC can simply visit http://www.google.com through the web browser of their mobile device, select the "Personalized Home" link, and then sign in with their Google account username and password. The next time they visit google.com on their phone, they will automatically see the same customized content modules that are featured on the web version of their Google personalized homepage. (Users who do not yet have a personalized Google homepage on their PC should first visit http://www.google.com/ig from their desktop computer and select the content to be added to their homepage.)
Google Personalized Home is currently available for free to mobile users in the U.S. and works with any phone that contains an XHTML-capable web browser. Users should check with their carriers on their data service plan to determine if there are additional charges for web access.
For more information about Google Personalized Home, please visit http://mobile.google.com/personalized/.