Internet content provider AOL is using the apps space to renew its focus on mobile, launching two new free apps on the Android platform. The move follows the arrival of ex Palm recruit David Temkin, who is heading up AOL’s mobile efforts.
One of the apps is exclusive to Android and “provides a simple way to read content from some of AOL’s most popular sites like PopEater, Engadget and FanHouse,” notes a statement, whilst it has also released its DailyFinance service as an app to Android Market. The DailyFinance app allows users to receive real-time stock quotes and financial news and track up to 25 different portfolios. It is already available on the iPhone’s App Store and BlackBerry’s App World.
Temkin confirmed that AOL will continue to support multiple mobile platforms, pointing to AOL’s ‘growing library of smartphone-optimised sites and apps’ as the beginning of a new focus. “Today’s smartphones offer a completely different experience from the previous generation of WAP-based sites, and AOL will be taking full advantage of the possibilities these new devices can offer, both on the mobile Web and in apps.” To that end, AOL also unveiled a new smartphone portal, based on HTML 5 and built to work on any mobile browser.
AOL has a long way to go to compete with Internet rivals such as Google, MSN and Yahoo who have made a better success of doing business in the mobile market. As ZDNet points out, AOL gets 28 million visits a day, whilst Yahoo – despite a loss of market share to Google – remains a popular portal at 400 million visitors a day. Two new apps are unlikely to transform AOL’s mobile reputation, but it is at least a start.