iGoogle has won and earned its position at the healm of my browser experience by becoming my homepage. It’s a useful location that can host many widgets that I’d want to check first thing: my Gmail account, my RSS feeds in Google Reader, a To Do list, the weather, and some news headlines. All-in-all it’s very useful, but this morning I woke up to it becoming a little less useful. Apparently, the Gmail gadget will no longer access a Gmail account secured with the ‘always use https’ setting that I discussed and recommended way back in August, 2008, Gmail Helps with your Security Concerns, pt. 2.
The Learn more link takes you to this Gmail help page.
I configured this setting when I wrote the original article on it back in August 2008 and haven’t touched it since, but have used the Gmail gadget on iGoogle every day since then. This leads me to two thoughts:
- Gmail just now started using the ‘always use https’ setting to secure Gmail always, including connecting through iGoogle.
- iGoogle just now stopped supporting the https protocol with Gmail.
Essentially it’s coming down to a choice; they are making us choose convenience versus security. If that’s the case, I have to go with security and you should too. Unfortunately, this significantly decreases the usefulness of iGoogle and I may just have to replace my homepage to a series of tabs opening Gmail, Google Reader, and the others. I already didn’t like the improvements they made to iGoogle with the “maximizing” gadgets, but I got around my preference by just having a few handy bookmarks instead.
I haven’t seen anything about this update to iGoogle anywhere so I’m hoping this article will break the silence. Is there any information out there about what changed and why? I’ve confirmed that this is not a browser issue by checking Firefox and IE. It was working before I went to bed last night.
Thanks to mjdonline for bringing this to my attention. Google’s response (scroll about half way down and look for an answer from Paul):
As several of you have noticed, we made a change in iGoogle to the way that iGoogle’s Gmail gadget works. If you previously set Gmail to only access your mail using https by selecting “Always use https” in Gmail’s settings, you will now see a message in iGoogle’s Gmail gadget asking you to open the full version of Gmail. We made this change in iGoogle for those users who want to ensure that their Gmail is transmitted using https.
We know that many of you would like to access your mail from iGoogle with https, and we’re investigating ways to provide https support for iGoogle’s Gmail gadget. In the meantime, you have a couple of choices:
– If you’d prefer to access your mail with https, please visit Gmail directly at https://mail.google.com/mail.
– If you’d rather get your Gmail on iGoogle with the Gmail gadget, visit Gmail’s Settings page and select “Don’t always use https.”
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.