iGoogle has less than a year to go before it’s shut down for good on November 1, 2013. While Google seems to think that iGoogle isn’t necessary anymore, there are other services waiting to take its place.
Google says that “with modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time.” If you disagree, try one of the services below.
Awesome New Tab Page
Awesome New Tab Page isn’t a website – it’s an extension that replaces Google Chrome’s new tab page. Awesome New Tab page allows you to install a variety of widgets, just as iGoogle does. There are widgets for displaying new Gmail messages, the weather, items from an RSS feed, calendar events, a calculator, and more.
ANTP runs in Chrome, so it’s clearly Google’s idea of the kind of app that should replace iGoogle. On Android, home-screen widgets can also function similarly to iGoogle.
Unlike a lot of other services here, igHome is a website that’s clearly inspired by iGoogle and tries to closely imitate it. The design looks similar – there’s even a black bar along the top of the page with links to Google’s services including Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Play, Images, and YouTube.
Like iGoogle, igHome supports widgets, including widgets that display a variety of RSS feeds, the weather, and bookmarks. Other widgets allow you to interact with Google services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Tasks. igHome is currently in beta, and it could be a popular replacement to iGoogle when iGoogle goes offline for good.
Netvibes is focused on business users these days – and its home page sells itself as a business tool – but Netvibes still offers free personalized home pages.
Netvibes offers a large selection of widgets for weather, email, to-do lists, web searches, news, and more. Unlike igHome and some of the other services here, Netvibes has a deep catalog of widgets – whatever you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it.
uStart works similarly to the other services here, allowing you to add widgets for Facebook, Twitter, tasks, TV shows, email, calendar events, weather, RSS feeds, and more. It’s a very complete solution – whether you prefer it or Netvibes may just come down to which design you like most.
Yahoo is still around, as is My Yahoo!, Yahoo’s personalized start page. It’s essentially Yahoo’s version of iGoogle. Like iGoogle, My Yahoo! offers a personalized start page with news, weather, and stock information. You can see new emails from your inbox and view tweets in one place – even add custom RSS feeds to view new content from your favorite websites.
Unfortunately for some users, My Yahoo! is integrated with Yahoo!’s services. You won’t find options for viewing your Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google Tasks here, nor will you find quick links to other Google services.
Protopage feels a bit cluttered compared to the other options here. While it also has a variety of widgets, its standout feature is its theming support. You can set custom colors and backgrounds for your Protopage personalized home page. You’ll also probably want to take advantage of this feature – the default color scheme isn’t as easy one the eyes as the other services here.
While iGoogle is going the way of the dodo, you do have quite a few alternatives. Which you prefer may just come down to which design you like best, so feel free to give each one a spin.
Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.
- Published 11/19/12