Back in 2005, Google launched iGoogle, a personalized homepage for people who wanted an alternative to the simple Google homepage. It enabled users to add all kinds of “gadgets” to make their homepages more useful. You could add productivity widgets, play games, see news headlines, etc. right from the homepage. A lot of people loved it.
Are you an iGoogle user? What do you intend to use instead? Let us know in the comments.
As time went on, however, the need for a homepage at all dwindled, mainly as browsers got better. Of course some people still prefer to have a true homepage, and there are plenty of people out there who would like to see iGoogle stick around. Not enough people to convince Google, however.
Google announced in July of 2012 that it would shut down iGoogle as part of one of its “spring cleaning” product sweeps (granted, this particular “cleaning” came in the summer). Google revealed that it would shut down iGoogle on November 1, 2013, which is now just around the corner. The mobile version shut down last year.
“We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips,” Google’s Matt Eichne wrote at the time. “With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data.”
iGoogle users are now being greeted with a message that it will be shutting down in 30 days.
When Google first announced that it would kill iGoogle, users created petitions to try and save it. As Google Readers know, these things typically don’t work.
Well aware of the pending demise of iGoogle, Yahoo announced a new version of its similar product My Yahoo last month, complete with an iGoogle import feature.
A few alternatives to iGoogle include:
Google thinks you should just use the Chrome Web Store and personalize your browser.
You can export your iGoogle settings (including country, language, theme, layout and gadgets installed) to an XML file by going to the gear icon, then clicking iGoogle settings. Click Export next to “Export iGoogle settings to your computer.”
“Some gadgets, such as the to-do list, allow you to download your data to a file. To download from your to-do list, click the Download all option under the My List drop-down menu next to the title of your list,” says Google on a help page. “Most iGoogle gadgets are created and maintained by third-party developers. If you’d like to export your data, you should contact the gadget creator directly.”[via Search Engine Roundtable]
Are you sad to see iGoogle go away or do you think it’s time to move on? Share your thoughts in the comments.