Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Death of iGoogle! Now What?

So I pick up my computer this morning and I see a notification from Google that they're planning on killing iGoogle. Looking into things a little more I see their blog post stating "On November 1, 2013, iGoogle will be retired. 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. 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."

So they're giving us a little notice as the death sentence isn't planned until November of next year but I like to plan ahead (and get used to changes). I looked on-line for some alternatives and found two mentioned, Netvibes and Pageflakes. I don't know if it's just today but Pageflakes doesn't load (I'll edit if it reappears).

When I first went to the Netvibes site I was pointed to a nearly $500 option. After clicking back, I saw that there was also a free option. I like free so I went with that choice. Signing in and creating a site that mirrored my iGoogle site was very easy. I've posted the two sites below for comparison purposes.

Google


Netvibes


As you can see, there's not too much that's different between the two. I think that the iGoogle site is a little cleaner but that might be because I'm used to it. The news site is a little harder to read on the Netvibes widget and there aren't too many controls to make the text appear darker. But it all works. I can still see my mail come in and my appointments (yes I have stand-alone applications for those but this functionality always serves as a nice little reminder; I like the built-in redundancy).

So I'm a little less worried now than I was when I woke up. I won't lose the functionality I've gotten used to and my homepage (yes, I still like to have a homepage) will look essentially the same.

The one thing I will loose is the black Google bar at the top of the page that really did nothing more than remind me to go to Google+ every now-and-again.

With that gone, how often will I look at Google+?

As for Netvibes, very nice for free!