Users of iGoogle got some sad news when Google announced the application was going to be discontinued by November 2013. Before she jumped ship to take the CEO position at Yahoo!, Marrisa Mayer, then VP of Search Products at Google, described iGoogle gadgets as “unique form of advertising.”
Perhaps approaching it as a form of advertising rather than focusing on the user experience is what lead Google to eventually figure out they could get by without iGoogle.
Also, Google has been working to move app and widget customization into Chrome itself and many people find the tools available for their browser to be all the customization they really need. The extra effort to maintain iGoogle as a separate entity just wasn’t worth the expense.
For those who like the ability to create a custom landing page, there are several worthy replacements to meet your need for custom news feeds and widget love. (Click on any of the thumbnails below for a larger screenshot).
We previously covered NetVibes in more detail here. The interface is clean and easy to use, the function is solid and logical and it includes custom themes and color schemes.
ProtoPage also offers a choice of a wide variety of site widgets, color schemes and custom themes, with the added benefit of having an interface that’s friendly to mobile devices. Another feature I really like is the tabs feature that lets you keep your bookmarks and notes on separate tabs of the same page and add your own custom tabs.
MyFav.es is like a more customizable version of Chrome’s Most Visited feature, except it’s easier to pick which sites to put on the page and how to arrange them. The biggest advantage of MyFav.es is it looks really good on small screens. The big, blocky buttons might seem a little child-like in a browser window, but it’s awesome on a mobile device.
One stop shopping for tracking news, notes, capturing web content and sharing files. A bit of work on the front end to get everything set up and working but an interesting set of tools once you get there.
Another amazingly customizable start page that compares very favorably to NetVibes. If uStart would add some mechanisms for sharing files and content, this would be one of my favorites. Biggest mistake people make is putting .com at the end of the name. If you want the custom start page site it’s uStart.org.