Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Google does it again. Experimental iGoogle features.

Google is constantly changing its products. First it was Google Talk Labs Edition, then the hyped browser Chrome, and now they have put in some innovation and cool user interface in their personalized (for users) Google page called iGoogle.


This is still in experimentation, meaning, not everybody will be able to see this version of the iGoogle web page. But a few users have been invited by Google to use this experimental web page when they log in. (and that includes lucky me !!). Full story can be read on Google Support page.


The USP of this new interface are rounded boxes (called canvas view gadgets) on the Home page for various applications added onto iGoogle by the user. Any box can be maximized to view the full application in its own frame within iGoogle page. Also iGoogle has a left navigation to tab through each of the frames / pages of application added onto iGoogle. These boxes can be dragged and dropped to change their location on the Home page, can be collapsed, maximized and customized.


So now I can have all my favourite web applications, web sites, news feeds, jokes, weather forecast, Gmail, Gtalk and many more added as boxes to my iGoogle webpage and use them from a single window. I can also set iGoogle as my home page to have quick access to all my favourite web sites at once.


Did I mention GTalk, yes the best part of this new interface is that it also provides a separate tab in the left navigation for chatting using Google services. And now since base code of Gmail is supported on IE6 as well, you can go invisible while chatting from iGoogle irresepective of the IE version you are using. Great !! What else could I ask for. However as of now the Gtalk tab is not available to all who have access to the new iGoogle. Google says, there are still some bugs with this, which they are working upon. For me, I do not have the Gtalk on my iGoogle as yet.


All of this is what makes me a die hard Google "Bhakt". I only wish Google to call more and more users to experience the new iGoogle, and to make the chatting tab available to all.


Here is a sneak preview of the new iGoogle, for those who do not have access to it yet: