New in Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone: Speak to Search
Article by George Norman
On 21 May 2009
For those of you keeping track of these things, the development team behind the Yahoo! Messenger IM (instant messaging) client announced that it is giving up on its development of a Java version of YM for smartphones on the grounds that accessing Yahoo! Messenger from the device’s browser will suffice. It was bad news for smartphone owners in general, but not for iPhone owners, because Yahoo! also announced the development of the Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone app ranks high in its list of priorities.

“We are reprioritizing some products to help us better deliver the best possible experiences to consumers on mobile. To streamline our services, we will not develop Yahoo! Mobile for smartphones to focus our efforts on mobilizing Yahoo!, improving Yahoo! Mobile for web and Yahoo! Mobile for iPhone as well as developing new and engaging experiences for consumers, partners and advertisers. We currently have mobile products that reach hundreds of different devices (including Blackberry), and we continue to expand that comprehensive list,” said a Yahoo! spokesperson at the time.


It seems that Yahoo!’s commitment to improving its iPhone dedicated app is true: following the release of Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone v. 1.1 and following the news that the log-in issues experienced by some users were fixed, we have additional info to report: YM for iPhone 1.1 now comes with voice search.

This information came to light via CNet’s Jessica Dolcourt: “Yahoo Mobile 1.1 for iPhone and iPod Touch enables voice searches everywhere that the search bar is located in the app. You'll press the oneSearch field and see the large gray button prompting you to press and speak your inquiry. Unlike Google's voice app, which by all appearances had permission to break Apple's development rules, you cannot bring the phone to your ear to activate the voice prompt.”

Other features included in YM for iPhone 1.1 are:
- Instant Messaging: the main function of Yahoo! Messenger that allows you to socialize with your friends via IM.
- Share Photos, be it a photo you already have stored on your iPhone, or a photo you took just now.
- Stealth Settings: stay invisible when you do not want others to see you, select which users can see when you are available.
- Custom status message: type in whatever you want, including a web link, and set it as your online status.
- Recent conversations archive
- Special idle state: the app will automatically set your status to “Idle” when you for example click a link one of your friends sent you, link that takes you away from Yahoo! Messenger and towards Safari.
- Landscape keyboard mode, meaning that you can flip the iPhone on its side and type away.
- New “Report a Problem” feature that will help you in conveying your YM usage problems to the Messenger team. You can view the “Report a Problem” tab under the Settings icon.

If you would like to get Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone, a download location is available here.

Tags: Yahoo!, Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone, Voice Search
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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