Recover From Your iGoogle Loss With These Viable Alternatives
Recently, my father (aka, Dadio) came to me with a perturbed look on his face. Normally one to first attempt tech problem repairs on his own, he came straight to me for assistance. Solicitously, I asked, “What’s wrong?”
He mumbled, voice low and melancholic, “They finally did it. iGoogle is dead.”
Personally, I don’t really see the appeal of multipurpose, customizable homepages, but I can appreciate the fact that many people relish the ability to have a variety of easily scanned information presented to them when they first open their web browser. Now that this venerable homepage has been sacrificed for the greater Google good, we can give some much-needed attention to a couple of attractive alternatives.
If you are comfortable with RSS and desire a high degree of customizability, NetVibes may be for you. A long time portal for weather, email, news, and a wide assortment of customizable widgets, it’s an excellent replacement for iGoogle.
Like iGoogle, you can select from a multitude of distinct widgets (e.g., Gmail, news, Facebook, weather, Twitter, a to-do list, stocks, blogs, RSS feeds) and can even embed web pages and other objects (like Google Tasks), if you so desire. The real strength of this alternative is its high customizability. You can have as many tabs as you’d like, each with its own set of widgets arranged in various ways. In regard to themes, you can choose from the pre-made options or create one from scratch.
While very similar in its offerings to NetVibes, Protopage is much more user-friendly and is easier to use. Unlike Netvibes, re-arranging widgets is smooth and, if you do not like how they appear, you can even resize an individual widget to take up multiple columns.
In addition, creating new widgets is a facile process and the resulting creations are more aesthetically pleasing than those offered by competitors. The downside is that the service does not come with as many useful built-in widgets. Of course, you can manually add whatever you need, but it will take some time and is not an attractive choice if you just want to get something up and running as soon as possible.