Yahoo! Launches oneConnect and Blueprint for the iPhone

Yahoo's head of connected life Marco Boerries keynoted the CTIA conference in San Francisco this morning. He announced the launch of two products: oneConnect and Blueprint for the iPhone. Both had been previously discussed elsewhere. But this is the formal launch of oneConnect, which is both part of the larger Go suite and a stand alone application available from the iPhone Apps Store (later today).

The oneConnect application is something like a smart address book and communications management tool -- allowing users to see IM, SMS and emails in one mobile environment. It also allows users to integrate social networking apps along the same lines.

Blueprint is a mobile development platform and rendering engine that is supposed to be much easier to use and write for than other tools. Publishers, developers and advertisers can use it to build mobile sites and landing pages. Blueprint is an open platform but not open source according to Boerries. Developers who use Blueprint can tap into Yahoo! mobile ad inventory or use their own or other third party ads. Yahoo! offers a mobile ad server.

Promising "write once publish everywhere," Blueprint works across hundreds of devices. Yahoo! used Blueprint to develop oneConnect for the iPhone as well as Yahoo!'s other iPhone applications. The company is also talking with Apple about making Blueprint generally available to third party publishers for iPhone applications development. Several Yahoo! representatives indicated that they believed it would make iPhone apps development much faster and easier than it already is.

One got the sense listening to Boerries that Blueprint is a kind of answer to Android. It's not an OS but it is intended to help facilitate mobile development and the growth of the larger ecosystem. It also helps Yahoo build a direct path to mobile advertising distribution for those publishers that choose to avail themselves of Yahoo! display and mobile search advertising through Blueprint.

Ad giant Publicis is using Blueprint to develop mobile campaigns for clients.