Earlier this month on July 3rd, 2012 Google CEO Larry announced that on November 1st, 2013 that iGoogle will be retired. The service, which among other things, has served as a home page for users where they are able to personalize their own design and add services, widgets, tools, as well as rss feed content to their satisfaction has lost its function in and with the plug-in that many browsers allow today. I can easily say that I was one of many that was disheartened by this news as I have been using iGoogle as my personal homepage for many years now.
November 2013 gives us over a year to find an iGoogle replacement, however since Google has not announced any plans to offer an alternative that leaves people frantically scanning the internet for hopeful iGoogle replacement alternatives.
What is the best iGoogle replacement? The answer to that really depends on you and how you were using the iGoogle service. So to those of you distressed and gushing over iGoogle’s retirement can now is now be moderately calm. I’ve done several searches and there are other services with similar functionality out there. So let’s take a look at some of the best iGoogle alternatives to date.
Netvibes allows you to create your own “desktop” on your browser. For example, you can include your Facebook, Google Mail, various news sites and create lists and add weather report in the same area. It helps, of course with all these features if you want to get an overview of information you feel is important in a way that is quick and smooth.Netvibes is not difficult to handle and it is easy to add and delete their applications, “widgets”.
One advantage of Netvibes is that you can create different “tabs” that allow you to categorize your various surfaces. If, for example, to collect all the news sites in a tab for easy overview of the news so it is therefore excellent to do. We find many similarities to iGoogle and Netvibes may well be a viable alternative that actually satisfies many of the functions iGoogle had.
Netvibes also offers a plethora of different themes that color the background and buttons, it adds so clearly a more a more intimate touch.
- Build multiple dashboards
- Over 200,000 applications are available to add to dashboards
- Real time monitoring keeps the content up to date
- Tagging helps the user sort and retrieve content
- Mobile access is available for iPhone and iPad users
- Users can follow Tweets about a specific topic or product
- Microsites can be created and published with a few clicks
Chrome Apps are plugins that can be used in Google Chrome Browser.These plug-ins, there are several that allow you to create a “desktop” with your “widgets”. An outstanding plug-ins, part of which might fill many needs.
Incredible StartPage for Chrome Features:
- Create multiple “Notepads” to take notes while you surf.
- Get an overview of recently visited pages.
- Adding your bookmarks or shortcuts to te.x. Social media, blogs or e-mail.
- Synca your notepads to the Google cloud Drive.
The disadvantage of Incredible Home Page is that you can not get real time information in the same manner as Netvibes. However, if you only want access to more effective management of your bookmarks and able to take notes while you browse, we can heartily recommend Incredible Home Page application to Chrome.
The ability to make the application more personal is also in the form of themes or that they themselves are coloring, and change the design of the surface.
What we lack is the ability to handle RSS feeds and social functions such as Facebook and Twitter. According to the developers, however, work with the app continuously, so there is every possibility that it will come.For example, put it recently, “most visited pages” as a tab-able.
uStart is a free start page that offers several customisable features. You can create your own theme, add in multiple RSS feeds, and even add widgets to display an overview of your twitter feed, email, calendar, local weather and much more. You can separate your widgets into multiple tabs so you can have one tab per subject or theme, one for gaming, one for news, one for social media etc. Finally, similar to Netvibes, you do not need to sign up for this service to test it out.
A service quite similar to Netvibes and uStart, Protopage is also a worthwhile alternative for iGoogle. Protopage does take a bit more time and effort to get it set up compared to the other two. It has a very nice web 2.0 orientated design and is very slid in every area that you would expect from a personal start page. You can try it before you register. By default, the service offers a full tab of news sources, a bookmarks tab and Notes tab.
- Multiple tabs for better organization
- Read outside mail from popular sources like Gmail
- Wide range of built-in RSS feeds and you can add any feed you want
- Add custom widgets
5. My Yahoo, My Earthlink, My AOL, & My MSN
How can we forget about websites like Yahoo, Earthlink, AOL & MSN? Let’s kick it old school from those pre-Google days! My Yahoo was one of the first customizable home pages when it was launched over a decade ago. Over the years Yahoo has continued to develop and enhance its many features. You can customize your start page to display the local weather, your social media feeds, and choice of news subjects.Yahoo! has its own style service iGoogle, entitled My Yahoo! . It allows complete customization of content and appearance. Much of what iGoogle offers is also available here, albeit with a touch decidedly Yahoo! AOL, Earthlink and MSN offer similar ‘MY’ homepages, they are all comparable so feel free to test them out for yourself.
Spaaze is a bit ‘different from the rest of the services mentioned herein as it presents itself as an infinite virtual cork board and has hundreds of widgets to drag and drop. the same corkboard allows you to scroll in any direction, at any time, you can use a “map” that allows you to quickly jump to a specific section. It is a great tool for web people who could use a little help getting more organized.
- Create your own Spaaze board
- Add videos, images, links and text notes
- Drag and drop items wherever you want them on the board
- Choose between the prepay and subscription payment options
- Use labels and bookmarks for fast access
7. All My Faves
If you are hooked on StumbleUpon you will most likely dig All My Faves. The website is a essentially a large collection of other websites that you can book mark to one start page. Each site is represented by small icons with their logos. The service is free, but you will need to sign up for an account to use the service. Once registered you get to select your own collection of “fave” sites that you can use to quickly jump to your favorite pages. You also get to choose up to seven topics of interest (technical, business, health, etc.) that are used to generate batches of sites you might like. Once you complete the set up process, you will see a tabbed display of your favorite sites and your selected topics of interest. On a personal note, I’m not sure All My Faves will cut if for me as an iGoogle replacement, but All my faves is a very nice service if you are looking for a favorites-oriented home page with many customization options.
Symbaloo is a personable start page tool that lets users add all their most important links in a format that is easy to use. The user’s webmix appears as sleek buttons with icons or logos. The user can drag and drop items to organize them in a way that is convenient and practical. The items, or tiles, can be searched so users can find those that are most relevant to the items they are adding. Users can view their home webmix or browse webmix collections. News highlights and major news are also accessible through tabs on the Symbaloo homepage. The user can access an online resource simply by clicking one of the tiles on the webmix they are currently viewing. Another great service but unsure if I would personally find it to be a sufficient iGoogle replacement.
Similar to All My Faves, myfav.es is a site that provides a simple service that can help save time through homepage personalization. You can add icons to many popular websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and many other well known websites or internet applications. Customization options are also available so the user can choose the layout and design. Again, another nice site if you used iGoogle for primarily links and bookmarking.
This is a new service that is supposedly expected to launch Summer of 2012. Skim.Me is founded by Clinton Wu who says, “We make your daily online routine more productive and have been working on this for the past year. When you go to http://skim.me you can either requested an invite, or sign-in using your Facebook account. I have not received an invite yet, and haven’t really wanted to connect it with my Facebook account simply because I have signed up on similar sites and really dislike that as soon as I sign up they display my entire timeline.
Clinton Wu shares, “Your routine sources (not just news and social media) are automatically setup, personalized and managed for you. Browse content from your sources in timed batches throughout the day and see how much you’ve accomplished, never how many unread you have. All the content is viewed in our app instead of linking you outside to new tabs.” While I haven’t received my invite yet, I will say that I did receive an email from Clinton Wu asking for ideas and feedback. “What do you want that you can’t find anywhere else? “
Again, not a lot of information on Skim.Me just yet and it is too early to tell if it would make a viable iGoogle replacement for me since I use most of iGoogle’s features. I love gadgets! not just RSS feeds, news readers, links to my favorites etc.
Most Importantly – DON’T PANIC! Remember, you have until November 2013 so take your time finding a new homepage. I’m sure many new iGoogle alternatives will pop up between now and then. Enjoy!