iGoogle is a personalized homepage for Google users. The application provides the user with a number of customization options to create a homepage that displays the content they want and need to see. The user can choose from a wide range of gadgets, including Gmail inbox, Google Calendar, WeatherBug and the date and time. There are fun gadgets, like the pet turtles and hamsters that the user must “feed” and “water” as well as simple games like hangman and practical to do lists. Gadgets are created by Google and users; each comes with user created ratings. iGoogle also supplies a collection of eye-catching themes that make up the background and overall style of the user’s homepage. These are broken down into categories, including animals, nature, fun, trendy, abstract, food, games, comics and many more.
iGoogle was originally launched as the Google Personalization Homepage. The application was renamed iGoogle on April 30th, 2007. It has been made available in 42 languages and over 70 country domain names. By February of 2007, over seven million people were using iGoogle. A new version was introduced in October of 2008. Many users complained that they disliked the new design and did not like being required to switch. A work around was found later that allowed users to revert to the original layout. Google announced on October 14th, 2011 that it would disable social features on iGoogle because of its focus on Google Plus.
Many users will find iGoogle appealing over other similar applications because it works through Google. The company has produced a number of applications over the years, many of which can be used with one another. Existing Google users can integrate their Gmail inbox and Google Calendars into their iGoogle homepage. The application also includes a large database of gadgets that gives the user more ways to customize the look and functionality of their personalized homepage.
The iGoogle interface looks much like other Google applications, with a pale background and basic menus. The user can customize the look of their individual homepage by choosing a unique theme. The available collection includes a number of vibrant, detailed and unique themes that cover a wide range of personal style preferences. The user can add and remove gadgets as well. The process is very quick and easy. Google makes all the necessary tools visible so the user can make their homepage look however they want it to.
A new user must have a Google account to use iGoogle. The user can visit the iGoogle homepage and click the blue “Sign up for a new Google Account” link in the upper, right hand corner. The registration form requires an email address, password, location, date of birth and word verification. The user is automatically logged in and can begin customizing their homepage after successfully submitting the registration form.
iGoogle is available to all users at no cost. There are no subscription fees and the user can access all available gadgets. This is a good price considering the features included. Each item the user can add to their iGoogle page contains content that the user could obtain elsewhere for free. Charging a fee would deter most internet users from utilizing iGoogle. Users can access and edit their iGoogle personal homepage as often as they like.
iGoogle is an attractive application for just about anyone. There are many gadgets and theme options so users of all ages can easily find something interesting to add to their personalized homepage. The application is very easy to use. It is most appealing to those who already use other Google products, especially those that integrate with the homepage such as Gmail and Google Calendars.