They talked about it for over a year. People were confused why the personal homepage was shuttering. But is the page really gone, or just hiding?
iGoogle Shut Down
On November 1st, iGoogle – the webpage that allowed you to add RSS feeds, widgets and more – went offline. It was over a year in the making when Google announced they were shutter the service.
iGoogle launched in 2005 as an Ajax driven browser. You could create your own widgets using the Google Gadgets API. Of course, you could add RSS feeds for news from your favorite web sites.
Yahoo was one of the original creators of a customizable home page. If you were an IT administrator back in 2000, you saw the majority of employees that either wanted or had Yahoo as their homepage.
If you do a search for iGoogle, you will get www.yahoo.com/igoogle – pointing to the newest version of Yahoo’s customizable home page.
Is iGoogle Really Dead?
While Matt Eichner said it is no longer relevant 16 months ago, it might still be a part of future Google’s plans. Since Google is pushing more into their social network Google+, could iGoogle eventually reform into some type of page within Google+?
Chrome also has bounced back and forth on homepage ideas. It could easily add an iGoogle-esque option. all without having to type in iGoogle.
Of course, Google is moving to HTML5 and the Ajax driven iGoogle just wasn’t in the plans.
Not long ago I wrote about Google’s plans to kill iGoogle in 2013 and it was met with howls of protest. What I didn’t know at the time was that the mobile version was scheduled to go away much sooner than the web-based one. In fact, if you were using it on a smartphone or tablet then you were probably surprised on August 1st because July 31st was the official end.
The announcement was made via a little seen Google Help Center article. In addition to this news was one that hits a bit closer to home for GNC – Google’s great poscast app for Android, known as “Listen”, will be going away soon. The search component will cease working on November 1st of this year. According to Google, users will still be able to “access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the ‘Listen Subscriptions’ folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.”
Finally, Google will also be killing off Google Video for Business as well as some of the 150+ blogs that the search giant currently maintains.
Today Google announced what they termed “spring cleaning in summer”, meaning they are getting rid of a few services. This happens fairly often and the majority of people don’t notice, which is why the apps ended up on the chopping block to begin with. In this case, the list is once again one of services that users will not miss – Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, Google Video, and the Symbian Search App. However, there was one more name on the list that was initially surprising – iGoogle, the popular home page service.
However, after giving it some thought, it made a lot more sense. I have an iGoogle page and I can’t remember the last time I was on it. My browser used to open to it and I would frequently hit the “Home” button to return to it in order to check Gmail or see one of the extension I had customized it with. But, my browser now opens to all of the tabs that were open when I last used it and Chrome, my browser of choice lately, doesn’t even have a “Home” button. Everyone may not be like that, but my guess is that many are or iGoogle wouldn’t be marked for death.
If you do still use the service then there is no need to push the panic button yet. Google is giving you plenty of warning. iGoogle won’t become part of internet history until November 1, 2013, so you have more than a year to ween yourself from it. There are still a few services like iGoogle around, but they are certainly dwindling rather quickly.