Yahoo wants to tune into mobile video with new app
By Michael Liedtke, APSUNNYVALE, California--Yahoo is auditioning for a bigger role on iPhones and iPads with the release of its first mobile application tailored for watching video on touch-control screens.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The app, called Yahoo Screen, is set up to make the experience of sifting through video on smartphones and tablet computers more like channel surfing on a television. Instead of relying on a TV remote control, users of the Yahoo Screen app unveiled Monday will use their fingers to flip through programs and sort through roughly 20 different channels separated into categories such as celebrities, sports, games and food.
The app is available only for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad, but Yahoo Inc. intends to develop a version compatible with the much larger universe of devices powered by Google Inc.'s Android software.
Yahoo Screen is the latest offshoot of company CEO Marissa Mayer's crusade to make Yahoo's services part of their daily routines. Mayer has been emphasizing the need for better mobile applications and more compelling video since Yahoo lured her away from a top executive job at Google Inc. 14 months ago.
The new app was built in New York by an engineering team led by Robby Stein, whose expertise was imported last October when Yahoo bought his startup, Stamped, for an undisclosed amount. It marked the first of about 20 acquisitions that Mayer has made as Yahoo's CEO and reunited her with Stein, who had previously worked with at Google before launching his startup.
“This gives us a great product in a key area of people's lives,” Stein said of Yahoo Screen. “Watching video has become something people do almost as much as they check email and we think we have come up with something that is as intuitive to use as your TV.”