Yahoo finally ships Livestand iPad app

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Yahoo has launched several applications for the iPad, including Livestand, a "digital newsstand" that it announced last February and that was supposed to ship in the first half of the year.

At its Yahoo Product Runway event, the company also announced IntoNow for the iPad (which lets TV viewers discover programs and discuss them with their friends), a Yahoo Mail application for the iPad, and some new social features for its News site.

Repeating the mantra that Yahoo is the world's "premier digital company," Chief Product Officer Blake Irving tried to shift the focus to the new Yahoo products and away from questions about the struggling company's future. Yahoo's financial performance has been lackluster this year, and it has been without a permanent CEO since Carol Bartz was fired in early September. Rumors have swirled that the company is the object of acquisition interest from a variety of suitors, including Google, AOL and private investors.

That turmoil may be one reason Livestand is so late: The iPad version of the app is now more than four months overdue; the promised Android version is still missing. Livestand must face several competitors, including the well-regarded Flipboard ( ); Google reportedly plans to launch a newsstand app of its own—Propeller—soon.

Livestand delivers articles, photos, videos, graphics and ads from Yahoo sites and from third-party online publications in a format that is optimized for the iPad. It can also tailor content to readers' preferences and tastes, and gives marketers the ability to create engaging and immersive ads, Irving said.

Meanwhile, IntoNow, which Yahoo acquired in April and which has been available for iPhones since January, has been reworked for the iPad. It retains its core functionality—detecting the sound of TV programs coming from TV sets or computers and then attempting to identify the program and episode that's playing, so that users can share that information with their friends. But the iPad version goes a step further by also surfacing related Web content, such as news articles related to the TV program being watched.

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