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Yahoo! Go? Yahoo! No!

If this is the future of mobile data - mobile data doesn't have a future

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And it does exactly what as he says.

Yahoo! Go's very own folderWhat it doesn't do, is fulfill the marketing slogan [warning: empowerment rhetoric ahead], which is "With Yahoo! Go, You're In Control". Not only was data now flying at me when I didn't want it - alerts were coming up which I hadn't requested, and, as the software began to do its stuff, I was even losing control of the phone.

I use a Yahoo! email account and immediately regretted installing Y!Go. Yahoo! has a useful SMS alert service to tell me when an email from one of a few people - who send me great emails - has arrived. Y!Go also rings out the SMS alert when it delivers your email, in full, to the phone. But the Y!Go software doesn't seem to know about the SMS alert service, and doesn't check it. So before long, my phone was bleeping like a demented robot, with these duplicates.

Purely on a technical level it's impressive. Y!Go delivers your email into the main Symbian messaging inbox, and under a separate folder, you can select which of your Yahoo! subfolders you want synchronized too.

But without more selective filtering, this is only going to appeal to the kind of people who can't live without email for a minute: CrackBerry addicts, for example.

These people need a life - not more software.

While a control panel (pictured) lets you choose which services to synchronize with, the software is designed to interpose itself between you, and what you want to get done, at every opportunity. I don't use Yahoo! Photos, and ensured it wasn't synchronized. But that didn't stop the software popping up a message every time I took a snap, asking me if I wanted to upload it to Yahoo!

For the Hive Mind set, something hasn't been validated unless it's been published on the interweb. See, for example, the rationale behind "blooks" and "flooks", or the confusion these web cultists have between notions of public and private - things which more mentally balanced people have no problem distinguishing between. With the blog mentality, you just publish something the second it comes into your head. It's must be like suffering from a peculiar kind of brain damage - a technology-induced amnesia.

Well, I'm sorry, but I'm not that "emergent". And nor are most people. The snaps I take with my cameraphone tend to be reminders to myself, or odd photographs that I'm perfectly capable of attaching to an email. Most are never shown to anyone, because, frankly, they're not interesting enough to show anyone. Y!Go's intrusiveness was based on the assumption that I wanted to share everything.

So, after a while, I stopped taking pictures at all.

Your mobile lifestyle! Yahoo! Go's main deck. (Tasks is out of view) And as time wore on, I found I could run fewer and fewer applications concurrently. Even though I'd specified that Y!Go store its messages in folders on the removable MMC card, it gradually ate up available memory on the phone, which is finite, until I could no longer run Opera.

(And here too, the "You're In Control" promise rang hollow: Y!Go doesn't let you choose your preferred browser. It defaults to firing up the Nokia browser, and if you prefer Opera or NetFront, you're out of luck).

Initially I was plagued with incomprehensible messages, which threatened havoc on my mailbox. After poking around in some settings via the Nokia Web Browser, I managed to turn these off.

So we've established that it has some of irritating neediness of a BlackBerry. But does it have the reliability, too?

Alas, while some emails are delivered within five minutes, others aren't. And it so happened that in Barcelona, someone special who I was going to meet had left their phone behind, but had managed to find an internet cafe, and sent me instructions for a rendezvous. Guess what? That one took an hour to arrive - and we missed each other.

And that's supposed to be a "mobile lifestyle"? Thank you, Yahoo!

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Next page: Conclusions

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