Google’s spring cleaning continues. Shutting down projects that few people use or have been replaced with alternatives has been on Google’s hit list for quite a while as the company trims the fat and focuses on its core products. In this latest round of closures, Google announced that Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback widget, Google Video, iGoogle, and the Symbian Search app will be retired. Google Video’s shutdown had been announced before so it’s no big surprise but iGoogle is new and was unexpected. Shortly after the announcement, ‘iGoogle’ became a trending topic on Twitter.
I have been using iGoogle as my homepage since its release and I was quite surprised to read that it was on the chopping block. For better or worse, Google will be keeping iGoogle around until November 1st, 2013 or 16 months. The mobile version of iGoogle will be retired on July 31st, 2012. Google Help’s update on iGoogle sends people into Google Play or the Chrome web store looking for apps and tools that will fill the gap iGoogle was bridging. Instead, here are a few suggested alternatives I’ll be investigating for my iGoogle replacement.
NetVibes is the strongest contender for a straight-up iGoogle replacement. It consists of a tabbed dashboard with plenty of widgets that allow you to see what is going on around the web at a glance. While the fact that this web product has a pricing page can be a little intimidating, the free Basic service of NetVibes offers the same services as iGoogle.
If you use iGoogle mostly as a place for links to your most frequestly accessed sites, you might check out Symbaloo. The site specializes in giving you a customizable grid where you can place your links and categories. It also works well going mobile, with an app for iPhones and on Android phones.
ProtoPage allows you to create your own custom home page. They specialize in RSS centric widgets.
Yahoo! is a big player in the game and they just want to let people know their “My Yahoo!” page isn’t going anywhere.
Custom WordPress themes
Social Life from Press75 is just one WordPress theme that aggregates your social presence into one place. This paid theme or one like it for cheaper might be able to do the trick depending on how you use iGoogle.
Again, your ideal replacement will probably all depend on how you use iGoogle currently. I hope these suggestions help you find your homepage replacement before iGoogle shuts its doors. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments.