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July 18, 2008

Google's Services Converge in the New iGoogle

Is this Google Reader? It's actually an iGoogle feed in canvas view, which happens to borrow Google Reader's interface. If you click on the drop-down, you can access all your Google Reader subscriptions.

Is this Gmail? It's the Gmail gadget in canvas view, but you get almost all the features available in Gmail's standard interface.

Is this Gmail Chat? It's the chat feature from Gmail integrated in iGoogle's sidebar so that you can chat with your contacts while reading your feeds, watching videos, answering your mail or checking the weather.

The new version of iGoogle, currently available for a small number of randomly-selected users and for developers, will bring together all the Google services in a single fluid interface. At some point, iGoogle was a part of an initiative called Fusion that allowed users to combine content from across the web. The next major iteration of iGoogle goes further and it lets you actually access the full content, monitor the updates and share them with your friends.

Quick tip to access the new iGoogle:
- go to
- paste this in the address bar:
- to go back to the old version, paste in the address bar:


  1. Looks awesome. Forgive my ignorance, but any chance someone knows how to...

    (1) how do I get my reader feeds in like Alex shows above?

    (2) get the Gmail app to work with my Google Apps for Your Domain?

  2. (1) You could import the feeds to iGoogle and then switch to the new iGoogle.

    (2) I don't think you can do that.

  3. Hi

    The same happens to Google wheather and google notebook.Maybe you could add some screenshots since I can't append them to this comment.


  4. Can anyone get Chat to work in Firefox 3?

    Also, a number of my offline contacts are showing up in IG Chat in IE7 amongst my online contacts. What gives?

  5. Two items:

    - Funny that the "official" Google Reader gadget does not adopt the same interface as the feeds (yet).

    - Sad that keyboard shortcuts don't work in the Gmail gadget (again, yet).

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. One thing I have always disliked about iGoogle are two related "features" and one problem:

    Feature #1) If you elect to use iGoogle, any time you try to go to just plain Google it bumps you to iGoogle

    Feature #2) When you search from the iGoogle search bar or click on any link, the search results (or link) load in the current tab/window, not a new one.

    Problem) iGoogle is slow as balls.

    When I go to Google Search, I want fast. I expect Facebook or Gmail to take a few seconds to load. That's fine. They're apps. But Google Search is a web service, and I want it _now_, not ten seconds from now.

    Google, PLEASE, allow me (at least as an option), to:
    1. Not forward me from Google to iGoogle. They're different pages for different purposes.
    2. Open search results and links from iGoogle in a new tab/window so I don't have to reload the page or lose my open chats/ composed mail / RSS feeds, etc. I can't tell you how often I'd had a chat that was part of the Google Talk gadget crap out on me because I forgot it was linked to iGoogle and I clicked on a news story headline. Grrrr.

  7. this is pretty sweet, i'm liking the next iteration of igoogle. My only question is how do I enable the gChat, it doesnt seem to be coming up for me

  8. @Brock:

    #1) If you click on the iGoogle link from the homepage, Google sets a cookie preference and redirects you to iGoogle when you go to The solution is to bookmark or and to visit the site directly. That's what I do.

    #2) Go to and uncheck "Open links in a new tab or browser window".

  9. As usual, GAFYD users will get screwed.

    They need a way to merge "regular" Google accounts, ie iGoogle, Reader, etc, with GAFYD accounts.

    I really don't need my own home page for my domain. I'd be happy to use iGoogle. Let me do that, and let me associated my GAFYD account with it.

  10. You can see the full benefit of the new iGoogle with Weather gadget. I get my normal (well, somewhat modified) mini-gadget and when I maximize it I get a whole lot more information. Here's a screenshot

    It'll take some getting used to.

  11. Ionut, you rule. Thanks a whole bunch for the javascript thing!

    By the way, languages other than English obviously won't work.

  12. To Anonymous, Google Apps users never get screwed. We do tend to get the newest features later than regular Google users. BTW, they stopped using the For Your Domain tag a long time ago. I think it's just generally called Google Apps now. Should be called Google for Business or something along those lines.

  13. I enabled the new iGoogle but I cannot see the chat gadget on the left sidebar or the update gadget. Nor do I find a way to enable it.
    Can anyone help? thx

  14. As far as I can tell chat only works in IE7.

  15. I also can't get the chat in the left sidebar using Firefox 3.0.1/Hardy

  16. have try this, looks very nice. chat not support in firefox 3, to test it use ie7

  17. Well some thing new in iGoogle, will defiitely give a try.

  18. Is there a way to take the iGoogle page back to the old one....good try but the wrong direction.

  19. I've just noticed that the canvas view for Gmail gadget is available at:

    There are some major bugs in the product: links from messages are stripped, reply/forward options are missing and you can't go to a label.

  20. I can't access the new iGoogle using the Quick tip:(( Any ideas?

  21. @rq:
    Change your language to English

  22. @Ionut Alex Chitu
    it works, thank you!

  23. I hope that with the canvas view at this new URL I can access my mail at work, behind all the filters we have to put up with...
    But I have noticed that when composing, the auto-complete only shows you the primary address stored in a contact, not all of them like in the full interface.
    And it seems pretty useless if you can't even reply to the messages in a conversation...

  24. This is a work in progress so don't judge it as a final product.

  25. can't get the google chat to work on Firefox or ie6

  26. iGoogle is pretty buggy, but it looks pretty promising.

  27. Interesting, but My Yahoo already has all of these features... in a production-ready (non-beta) version.

  28. I want my horizontal tab-bar across the top again--waaaah! The sidebar is a nice option in case you have gobs of stuff on each page and need a drop-down list of gadgets to easily access the stuff at the bottom. But my homepage is the only one with a lot of stuff falling below the fold, anyway. I don't like having to run my cursor all the way over to the left coast to switch pages. Waaaah!

    Otherwise, it looks pretty cool!

  29. well maybe im the only one but i think it’s just ridicolous... of course google wants users to STAY on a webpage... but not this way...

    a) it looks terrible (and simple graphic design has never been known to google, so it wont change)

    b) who wants a crappy chat applet where people cant talk to anyone because no one is using Google talk? People are using MSN for example...

    c) the simple things like Account merge are after YEARS not possible...

    d) one password for ALL services... very professional Google

  30. Been using it a few days now. It's okay but I really wish the Google search bar wouldn't monopolize so much space up top. I know it's their bread-and-butter but besides integrated chat I don't see much benefit to this.

  31. Thanks Ionut..

    Cant see the chat being displayed like this btw - any specific browser it is?

  32. The script for getting back to the old version isn't working for me. Any help on that?


  33. Looks promising, but at this point Michael Bolin's gadget
    provides superior functionality.

  34. Finally iGoogle can give me a reason to use it. I hope this continues to develop even further.

  35. I am one of the unlucky ones randomly selected to get the new iGoogle. After almost two weeks and filing out the survey voicing my unhappiness, I finally found a way to get out of the experiment.

    I am not the only one dissatisfied, there is a rather large iGoogle Group dedicated to this subject.

  36. I am one of the lucky ones randomly selected to get the new iGoogle. After almost two weeks and filing out the survey voicing my happiness, I hope I never have to get out of the experiment.

    I am not the only one satisfied, there is a rather large iGoogle Group dedicated to this subject.

  37. Interesting, because there is a sizable thread at with people who all have said they can't stand the new Left Navigation view of the experimental iGoogle. No-one, not one person has said they like it, and they all want to know how to get out. They used the javascript from this page to turn off the feature in fact.

  38. Please let us know the iGoogle Group dedicated to the joy and happiness of this horrible experiment. In the two weeks this has been going on I have not seen one positive post in iGoogle Groups.

  39. The new iGoogle is terrible. Most of my gadgets are broken, I can't read my email. Should someone have asked whether I wanted to be part of this? The worst part is I am not allow out except by back door. suck! Go here to see how much people think it sucks.

  40. I think the new iGoogle has great potential. By that i don't mean that there isn't a big room and need for changes and improvements.

    For example I have just posted a piece with some suggested improvements for the iGoogle Gmail gadget. (

    Best regards
    / Håkan

  41. Chat - Like the iGoogle gadget, but still can only get it working in IE Tab for Firefox 3 , IE 6 and 7. No luck in Safari or FF w/o IE Tab.
    All get the same error:

    We currently don't support chat in this browser. Coming soon, stay tuned!

  42. I, too, was one of the unfortunates who was randomly selected.

    I never opted-in, and definitely want out. I feel like a guinea pig who was involuntarily chosen to revert to the internet circa 1996.

  43. > I really don't need my own home page for my domain. I'd be happy to use iGoogle. Let me do that, and let me associated my GAFYD account with it.


  44. Thank you SOOOOOO much for the code to get out of that horrible experiemntal iGoogle. I feel back in control again now that the old version is back. BUT why not just tell everyone at the outset that they can opt out so easily. You have caused so many people a lot of unnecessary stress and angst. Shame on you, Google.

  45. Here's how to opt out:

    The following combination of steps from's forum and
    iGoogle Developer Forum enables users to opt out of experimental

    1) Go to and sign up for the iGoogle
    Developer Sandbox.
    2) You should now see "Welcome to the iGoogle Developer sandbox" on
    the top left of your iGoogle homepage.
    3) To leave the iGoogle Developer sandbox visit
    again and you should automatically be back to the old layout

  46. It appears that the new gmail client has gone live today, my igoogle page now lets me send and view email rather than just the titles.

    Is there some way to disable this within an organisation, as we will have no choice but to block access to google for all employees otherwise due to our webmail policy.

    I am thinking of the way blocking allows gmail to work but without the chat functionality

  47. @Chris:
    If you really want to block something, try: Most gadgets use iframes in the new canvas view, so it's easy to find the address. In Firefox, right-click on the expanded gadget and select This frame > Show only this frame.

  48. I hate the new igoogle how do I go back?

  49. You can block but httpS:// still works.

    Google please fix this, it is annoying me and our users that we have to block all authenticated access.

  50. I do not like the iGoogle, which is slower. Newer is not always better. I resent it was added on without my consent and would like to know how to get the reg Google back.

  51. We block webmail. gmailmax is a problem for us. We have blocked it in http but this is just one example of DLP incompatibilies with the new Google design. We are getting close to having to block all of Google with the exception of an enterprise search page. I hate doing that, but the guy who sent our customer rates out cost us a lot of cash and Google enables too many AUP violations due to no longer using things like in the URL for blocking. The fix is simple for Google to aid us. It's not simple for us.

  52. I HATE iGoogle - Every time I type in that stupid iGoogle comes up instead. HOW DO I GET just plain to come up, when I type it in? I don't want iGoogle to come up - I prefer - plain, regular, clean.

  53. I want to come up NOT IGOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so tired of this!I typed the address in my address bar because I saw the cute logo for today and wanted to see it full size, instead I was taken to that STUPID igoogle page that I never visited anyway. I want the google home page back!!! I am stopping recommending GMail until you fix this annoying glitch.

  54. Click on "Classic Home" to disable the redirect to iGoogle.

  55. I do NOT want to go to IGoogle when I am trying to see the home page. Even when you type it, it still takes you to IGOOGLE! Do I have to remove all google bookmarks, cookies, toolbar, and other google things to see the google home page?

    iGoogle is a separate page!!! We do NOT want these two combined!
    Fix this! Besides starting to search for alternative searches now, because the results on google are really starting to give you total junk... the gmail page loads slower than dial up and I have top speed cable internet and wireless... (sometimes it doesn't load at all!!! and it says I am only using 7% of my space) now I have to get annoyed by this!!!???

  56. Alex, Hi, where do I find that?
    Thanks ;)

  57. At the top of the iGoogle page, there's a bar that looks like this:

    " | Classic Home | My Account | Sign out"

    Click on "Classic Home" to go to the regular Google and to disable the redirect to iGoogle.

    You must remember one thing: if you click on "iGoogle" on Google's homepage, you'll not only go to iGoogle, but you'll also set up a redirect and every time you go to, Google will redirect you to iGoogle is a personalized version of Google's homepage and some people like to use it because they can add feeds, gadgets, themes etc. To toggle between iGoogle and the standard homepage, click on "Classic Home" or "iGoogle" at the top of the page.

  58. Thank you Alex :)
    Have a nice weekend.

  59. Brock said: "Google, PLEASE, allow me (at least as an option), to:
    1. Not forward me from Google to iGoogle. They're different pages for different purposes."

    I say: "Google, PLEASE, allow me (at least as an option), to:
    1. Not forward me from Google to iGoogle. They're different pages for different purposes. This totally SUCKS that I can't ever get to plain ol' Google."

  60. igoogle sucks how do I turn it off?

  61. type in , and when igoogle comes up, click on "Classic Search". That will disable the igoogle redirect.

  62. Hi Guys,

    Is there any way of getting back to the old iGoogles version. I mean I had a beautiful theme made by myself of a railway bridge I love which now almost completely disapeared because of the HUGE seach field of the new iGoogle version. Please give me some help.