Wheelings & Dealings: Yahoo Brings Word Of Aviate Intelligent Homescreen Purchase To CES 2014


Yahoo's keynote at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brought with it some news that was actually a rather familiar vein. We've heard about Yahoo making some moves in terms of buying companies over the last couple of months, and now, one more has joined the roster. CEO Marissa Mayer brought the word to the CES stage that Yahoo has acquired Aviate, and with it brought some new potential options in for mobile devices and Yahoo's presence in same.

With the purchase of Aviate, according to a combination of reports from both the Yahoo keynote and a blog post about the purchase, new options have opened up for Yahoo. While Yahoo has put plenty of emphasis on content in the last few months, particularly in terms of things like Hitpost and its fantasy football connections, delivering that content hasn't been quite so mentioned. But with Aviate in hand, Mayer describes a future in which Yahoo's impressive array of content options are presented in a fashion that's “smarter and more personalized,” which is pretty long on a lot of users' lists. For instance, instead of, say, requiring users to open up the ESPN app and check the box scores, the homescreen on a smartphone might instead show last night's scores from around sports, or instead, perhaps show stock quotes instead of having the user go through a financial app to start.

Aviate in its current form is an Android product, so it's not surprising to hear that Yahoo plans to make the system “a central part of our Android-based experiences in 2014 (and beyond)”. Some reports earlier had Aviate planning to bring out some version of its systems for iOS, but those may well be scuttled as a result of Yahoo's acquisition. It's particularly noteworthy here that Yahoo had previously had some difficulties, by some reports, in landing a big hit on iOS to begin with, ending 2013 with no app in iOS' top 100. Yahoo may well be planning to cut bait as far as iOS altogether, instead focusing on being a major part of the Android platform instead. It's also as yet unknown just what terms were involved in the deal, though current reports suggest layoffs will be few if any, and much of the Aviate team will be brought on to Yahoo.

It's actually a pretty good idea; Yahoo's ability to penetrate the iOS market has proven to be a bit on the disappointing side, so Yahoo may be looking to double-down on Android. If Yahoo can take over homescreens, well, that's going to give Yahoo quite a boost indeed when it comes to the user base. Plus, the user base would certainly have reason enough to get in on this action; having the information most desired front-and-center, instead of going through a homescreen to get to the app of choice then through that app's homescreen, if there is one, could be a real time-saver and get the information up faster, which is commonly a benefit.

Fast news, fast information and faster results...it's hard to turn down a package like that. If Yahoo can convince the user base that a new Yahoo-based homescreen powered by Aviate technology can put up the most relevant information fastest, it may well have a killer app in the making. Only time will tell if it goes that far, but it's looking like a pretty safe bet.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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