Seeking an alternative to iGoogle. Any ideas?

In November of 2013, Google is discontinuing iGoogle, which has been my homepage for years. With iGoogle, I had all these useful widgets: Calendar, Reader, Gmail,Weather, To Do list … right on my homepage where I could easily access them. (I may also have had useless widgets like Pet Turtle. Not that you’ll ever know.) I realize this is a lesson in how evil Google is: that it won’t support something that doesn’t make the company lots of money, and that I should never count on a big corporation to help me organize my life. But I still find the company’s explanation weak:

“With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time,” he wrote.

I compute at my desktop 95% of the time, and don’t want to open a new page or an app every time I need some quick info. With iGoogle as my homepage, all of that info is there in front of me.

Here’s what it looks like:

I realize I have over a year to make the switch, but I’m so annoyed I want to start now. so… any ideas?

24 responses

  1. Thank you! I was pretty devastated, too. My home page looks much like yours and I hate that I’ll have to remember to click on Google Reader for my various blog updates (I like seeing them show up real time) and to check my mail (same).

    What I did, FWIW, is set up Bookmark Bar to have my most common items right up on top so that even if I can’t see what’s going on, I’m at least reminded to check. Not much help, but that’s all I figured out so far.

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  2. I was so bummed to read that they were discontinuing iGoogle. I use it as my desktop as well – both on my home and my work computers. It is a silly decision. As you say, who wants to have to open individual apps when we can have all the info right in one location.

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  3. Dani, thanks for the Netvibes recommendation! It’s not quite as good and took me forever to set up all of my Google Reader feeds, but overall, it’s a great option 🙂

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  4. Your iGoogle page looks near identical to mine. I’m pretty bummed about the Google deactivating it too.

    If you use Chrome as a browser, you could get a few extensions from Chrome App store to replace most of your iGoogle gadgets.

    I added:
    Easy Reader – shows number of feeds unread and a preview of those unread feeds from the toolbar. Also notifies you when there is a new feed item, which you can turn off. I did.

    Checker Plus for Gmail – shows number of new emails and previews from the toolbar. Same as Easy Reader, it will notify you when there is a new email via popup notification and/or sound, which you can turn off too.

    Checker Plus for Google Calendar – click on icon in the toolbar and it shows your Google calendar (you can view it monthly, agenda, daily similar to Google’s Calendar tool)

    LinkedNotes – for quick notes to myself, it also has a neat paste from notes feature. The notes here are linked to your google account so they are available to you at home and work if you have the extension on installed on both computers.

    If you search the Chrome Web store, I’m sure you would be able to find a To Do List extension to fit your needs.

    All of these are verified by Google as valid and legit.

    Hope this helps.

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  5. You can use Netvibes if you wish to keep the iGoogle experience. They’re similar in a lot of ways. It’s what I’ve been using since I started weaning myself from iGoogle.

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  6. @Jessica: Unfortunately Yahoo’s start page has faltered and a number of the widgets that I used simply quit working. I am a news hound and prefer to have several sources with top stories from each displayed on a single start page in an arrangement of my construction. I also need frequent access to foreign exchange quote, real time stock prices, weather report, a simple note taker, and, if possible, access to my list of feeds. Other needs I can set up in Chrome tabs. Netvibes is, as you’ve already reported, quite a resource hog. Thanks for the link.

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  7. I couldn’t agree more that the reason behind phasing out iGoogle next year is lame at best.

    I suggest My.Yahoo.Com for what could be the next best thing. My Yahoo has been around since forever so they’re not going anywhere. Also, there are a lot of customizeable options and features.

    Worth a look!

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  8. I’m gonna use iGoogle until its gone. In the meantime, I’ve set up Yahoo as a backup. I’ve tried NetVibes, but they have little content/gadgets. And of what they do have, many don’t work or are broken.

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  9. @Cris: Hi Cris, Jessica, and everyone else at RRR. We’re a new startup called Skim.Me (http://skim.me) working to fill this need for everyone. Our goal is the same as iGoogle’s was – to make your daily browsing routine more productive and efficient. We’re upgrading the old dashboard design from the mid-2000’s to something that should provide you with a better experience.

    We haven’t release yet to the public but we’re currently working on importing your settings from iGoogle to make it easy. We want to let you see your no-reply emails, weather, news, blogs, calendar, shopping, social media and eventually finance all in one place. We’re also encouraging you to schedule timed browsing batches (we have a timer running for you) so you can focus on other things you ened to do. Hope some of you will check us out and you can always reach me with questions or requests at wu at skim dot me.

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  10. I tried this before the news of igoogle’s demise, icurrent.

    You choose what you want to follow and it puts it in the most similar format to igoogle I have found.

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