Yahoo Appeals to Developers With New Mobile App Suite

Yahoo wants developers to know that Google isn't the only game in town when it comes to making money with mobile apps. The company on Thursday held its first-ever developer conference, where it unveiled a broad range of tools to help developers get the most out of their mobile apps. The overriding message shared by Yahoo to the thousand-plus attendees: We're now a mobile-first company.

The focus of the developer conference was the Mobile Developer Suite, a collection of five services that makes it easier for mobile developers to analyze, monetize, advertise and enhance their apps. It's important to note that the Mobile Developer Suite doesn't offer APIs or tools to actually help build apps. Its goal is to help developers improve their existing apps. The five services are Flurry Analytics Explorer, Flurry Pulse, Yahoo App Publishing, Yahoo Search in Apps and Yahoo App Marketing. Here's a quick primer on what each does.

Flurry Analytics Explorer and Flurry Pulse are tools Yahoo purchased last August. The Explorer lets developers query their apps without the need for a separate SDK. It supports complex questions so developers can gain more insight into their apps' performance. Developers can then turn to Pulse to share that information with partners via the existing Flurry SDK. It works automatically and can limit SDK proliferation.

Yahoo's willingness to offer the Yahoo App Publishing tool tells us it's serious about courting developers. The App Publishing app is what Yahoo uses to monetize its own apps. With it, developers can make money with native, video and display ads through Yahoo's Gemini, BrightRoll and Flurry tools. Yahoo says developers will appreciate App Publishing's ease of use.

Then there's Yahoo Search. Yahoo would be remiss if it didn't offer its own search Function. The company says the ability to integrate Yahoo Search directly into apps lets developers "enhance the User Experience" and "create additional monetization channels."

Last up in the Mobile Developer Suite is Yahoo App Marketing. As the name implies, this aids discoverability of apps and can be used to acquire new users and grow engagement. Yahoo's pitch here is that developers can use this single Platform to reach people across Yahoo's desktop services, mobile apps and Tumblr social network.

Yahoo claims to have 200,000 developers already using at least one aspect of its platform. If you're interested specifically in APIs, Yahoo has those, too. It's six main APIs are Flickr, Search, Tumblr, YQL, Commerce Central and Games.

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Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Citi Extends Mobile Developer Challenge