It seems you’re just not cool in the tech world nowadays if you don’t add an ‘i’ before the name of your products. Not to be left behind, Google has also recently jumped on the bandwagon with ‘iGoogle‘. If you’ve got a personalised Google homepage, then you might have noticed the subtle change at the top of the page.
Although this is partly just a simple re-branding exercise (the ‘i’ referring to you, not some Apple spin-off!) it does herald a few interesting new features. One of the freshest additions is a new Gadget Maker that allows you to create and customise your own gadgets for your homepage. So maybe you want to create a photo gadget which links to your family collection? With the Framed Photo gadget, all you have to do is fill in a few fields of information with the album details, select a photo for the front cover, and click ‘add’ to your homepage. There are several other gadget makers too including to make your own You Tube channel, a ‘Daily Me‘ gadget where people can keep track of your fluctuating moods, and a Personal List gadget where you can share you’re top ten favourite songs, films etc.
And of course, they’ve added the obligatory tabs meaning your homepage can now spread to several pages if you can’t fit all the gadgets you want to use on just one. You’ll see the ‘Add Tab’ option just below the bottom of the iGoogle header image. iGoogle is also supposed to be more sensitive to where you are in the world when you make iGoogle searches although I only noticed very subtle minor differences in search results.
The new features are definitely a plus although there are worrying signs that Google is spending more time worrying about branding that it needs to. The change of Google Personalised Homepage to iGoogle has barely gone noticed but it follows the change of Google Maps to Google Local which was eventually changed back to Google Maps. It’s enough to make the mind boggle (or Google).