Symbaloo, an ancient Greek verb that means ‘gathering’ ‘assembling’, is also a website that may just be the first perfect portal site by doing just that, being a portal. Symbaloo is ad-free and aims to be your browser’s homepage. With a simple, clean interface, Symbaloo can easily send you off to any number of sites that it has pre-configured for you or any site you add. There is also an eye-catching display of recent news and a built-in feed reader, just a tab away. It comes chock full of services just to show you what it can do, but you can remove any of these things and build Symbaloo from the ground up to make your own perfect homepage.
When you first visit Symbaloo, you’ll be greeted by the generic desktop. There are 52 squares arranged in a 10 wide by 6 high grid with a hole in the center. Each square can be customized to point to a website or launch a widget in the center such as a Google search or a calculator. Just click on a square’s icon to open a new window/tab to the site or activate the widget in the center. The default page contains icons or widgets to the following services: Google, Wikipedia, Google Translate, Google News, eBay, SHOPwiki, Amazon, CNN.com, citi, The Wall Street Journal, flickr, Gmail, WCBE.org, craigslist, facebook, YouTube, world time engine, MeteoGroup, Google Maps, yellow pages, white pages, xe.com (currency), a calculator widget, Google Images, last.fm, and IMDb.
If you like this generic desktop, you can just visit the site as a guest each time, but the real power comes in customizing Symbaloo for your uses. You can quickly create an account by clicking on the Login link in the top-right. From there, just register an account, verify your e-mail, and then you’ll be good to go.
You can easily customize your desktop by simply dragging and dropping an icon where you’d like to rearrange it. As soon as you start dragging an icon, the center turns into 3 large buttons: Edit, Delete, and Move/Copy. Drag an icon on top of any of those three if you’d like to take those actions with the icon you’re dragging. You can also create your own icon by clicking on any blank square and walking through a very simple wizard to hook a favorite website into Symbaloo.
You can further customize how Symbaloo behaves for you by investigating the settings options for your account. You can increase or reduce the number of columns or rows in your desktop. You can configure which desktop is loaded when you first arrive and many other settings. If you look at the top-left corner of the main page, you’ll notice two other tabs besides desk (what we’ve seen so far). There is another desktops for News and another for feeds. Beyond that, you can also create additional desktops by clicking the + icon.
Under the News desktop, a very visually appealing matrix is generated from the news headlines by Yahoo! You can hover over an image to get an excerpt from the story or click on the image to open the whole article in a new tab/window. Under the settings for the News desktop, you can change how many rows and columns to have and also whether to pull the news from Yahoo! or MSNBC.
The feeds desktop is a very simple component of the site; it simply displays the RSS feeds of any subscriptions you add. It doesn’t display images in feeds, but provides a quick link to articles and images. With 3 columns, you can easily add more feeds by clicking inside a dashed-border rectangle. You can drag and drop feeds to rearrange them or hover over the title area to get the ability to delete or refresh the feed.
This web service is available in multiple countries and many languages for full access. If you’d like more information, check out their tour page. Otherwise, get started and go customize your desktop to the web at Symbaloo.