Hands-On: Yahoo! Livestand App – Web Content Built for Tablets

Last week, Yahoo! announced a new magazine-style app that conglomerated content from their own properties and select partners into one slick interface. We bumped into Yahoo! at Mobile World Congress, and got some time with the app up-front, and personally, I was pretty impressed. It`s got smooth transitions, a variety of channels for content, good social interaction, and will launch completely free in the first half of the year. It will have offline access through caching, and yet still pull the latest headlines and stream them into the relevant channels.  There are preset content categories as well as channels for your own keyword searches. The kind of content ranges from news to finance to pictures to magazine-style articles, or whatever else publishers want to get out into the world. Currently, Livestand is waiting for public release Android 3.0 Gingerbread before going live in the App Store and Market. Livestand is based on web technologies like HTML5 and CSS in order to help interoperatbility between platforms, but though Yahoo! has dedicated to Android and iPad, they haven`t said a peep about supporting webOS and the BlackBerry PlayBook other than they haven`t nailed down their second half of 2011.

The big focus is on personalized content, so you can quickly discover content you’re actually interested in. From the economic perspective, Yahoo! is implementing a few rich iAd-style placements that include the likes of HP. The ad included folding the page you were reading into a paper airplane, then steering it using the iPad accelerometer into an HP printer, in order to advertise wireless printing. In terms of being social, you can leave comments on stories and receive push notifications to follow-up comments, and there was a hint of some Facebook tie-in, but it wasn’t quite ready to show off.

Overall Yahoo! Livestand looks like it will be a nicely-polished app custom-built for tablets, and being free is the icing on the cake. Here’s the Yahoo! Livestand landing page for any publishers or advertisers that want to get involved prior to launch.

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