Google has redesigned iGoogle, its custom homepage product, so that it is more in line with other recent Google redesigns. That includes the navigation bar at the top and the left panel, as seen in the image.
"In addition to the visible design changes like new colors and spacing, we’ve made some changes to functionality to showcase the content that really matters to you: we’ve hidden buttons and navigation links until they're actually needed," says product manager Conrad Lo. "Now you can collapse the left panel to give yourself room for more gadgets, or pop it back out when you want to chat with a friend."
So far, the iGoogle gadget directory is lacking any Google+ gadgets, and with more and more people using Chrome and its default tab page as a homepage, it doesn't seem like iGoogle is playing to Google's main points of focus these days, but that's probably why it's just now getting the redesign.
The fact that it did get a redesign at a time when Google is cleaning house and eliminating a number of its products, is probably a good sign for iGoogle users that it isn't going away any time soon.
It does provide a way for Google to control more of the web experience for non-Chrome users though. And it still does add a little something extra for Chrome users. The search box includes the recently launched voice search feature.