New iGoogle interface is a winner

I’ve been an iGoogle users since the ability to customize my Google page first became an option. It’s been my home page ever since, and this week, Google updated the interface adding a great deal more flexibility. I especially like that my blog search widget now includes a couple of lines in addition to the entry titles, but the real winner is the Gmail widget. It is a fully functioning, albeit miniature version of the Gmail page, where I can actually compose, delete, or archive directly within the widget instead of clicking to the Gmail page.

The new design is just further evidence that place-based distribution is where media companies need to be. Google is making it easier and easier for users to bring the Web to them, instead of them going out and looking (the archaic “browse” mode).

The big new addition is what Google calls “full canvas view,” which expands widgets without leaving the iGoogle page. This is pretty cool, although it takes some getting used to.

The new RSS reader tab is tempting, but for now, I’ll stick with my old friend, Feedreader. I dearly love the application, but Google is flirting with me.

It can be hard to resist such a consistently high-quality friend.

UPDATE: JR Raphael strongly disagrees and wants his old home page back.

Comments

  1. Agreed. Now if only I could customize the tab, it’d be perfect. I still use the full gmail interface because the tab has a nify little (1) appear when I get a new message, and only people I WANT to hear from have my gmail address. If I could make my gmail tab appear on my iGoogle page, it would be total perfection.

  2. Robert Smith says

    I don’t like it. When I click on some links, I cannot use the browse button to go back, I have to remember which page I was on on the left hand side and click it. The back button should go back to the previous view, no matter what.

  3. I’m not sure what you mean, Robert. I don’t have that problem (yet).

  4. I especially like that my blog search widget now includes a couple of lines in addition to the entry titles, but the real winner is the Gmail widget. It is a fully functioning, albeit miniature version of the Gmail page, where I can actually compose, delete, or archive directly within the widget instead of clicking to the Gmail page.

    Is this a joke? The Gmail widget is most definitely NOT fully functioning. Formatting doesn’t work in it at all. Hyperlinks don’t work. You read an email in the Gmail widget and if there’s a link, you can’t click on it. This is a huge step backwards. And the left sidebar is redundant in functionality and a waste of precious real estate. This change is bad, bad, bad.

  5. Derek, I used to have to click on the same gmail link that I now have to click on to an active link, so you’re right, it’s not “fully functioning.” I suspect that’s a short-term issue, however.

    I also agree that the left sidebar is redundant, and I think that, too, will become optional.

    My first reaction to the change was not good, but the more I use it, the more I like it.

    Terry

  6. #4,

    i once had a cellular phone that took up a good chunk of the trunk space in a sedan deville, weighed about as much as a 90lb. bag of concrete, was bolted in place through the floor, a hole drilled in the trunk for a permanent antenna and the calls were about $5 for 5 minutes… with three of those static.

    and look where that went.

  7. I want the old interface back. I came here to say almost exactly what Derek James wrote. This change is BAD BAD BAD. I thought that maybe I turned on some flaky Google Gadget by accident. I searched all my account settings to get rid of it and now I find out it’s just a Google ‘improvement’. YUCK PUKE BLEH PTOOEY. I want my old iGoogle page back! The least they could have done is tell us about it before doing it.

  8. In my humble, the new layout of iGoogle with ‘tabs’ as a left column is a poor relation to the ‘top tab’ format. I guess its a personal thing, but I cannot see why we can’t have a choice. A change I neither requested nor desired and something more akin to a Microsoft move.

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