5 iGoogle Alternatives You Should Consider

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People love their iGoogle, but Google has announced that it will be killed off the personalised portal on November 1 next year. Why? Well, they are killing it so they can focus “our energy on the products with the biggest potential to make a difference.” Fans are screaming for it to survive, but unless Google managed to change their minds, you have around a year to find an alternative. We have found five that could replace it. You can view them after the jump.

Netvibes

Remember them? This was, back then, considered the darling of personalised homepages winning several awards such as CNET’s Webware 100 and TechCrunch’s Crunchies in 2007. But then, it fell back into obscurity. But if you want to retain your iGoogle experience – with all the feeds, widgets and themes – then you should consider Netvibes.

There are some additional features that sets Netvibes apart from iGoogle like customising the page’s column layout, and a ‘Reader’ mode that makes it more like Google Reader than iGoogle.

It has become more ‘business-orientated’, however it does have a free version to create a personal ‘page’. It also, like iGoogle, has no shortage of applications. There are nearly 150,000 apps for Netvibes, including many for Google’s services like News and Calendar (though, not officially made by them).

- netvibes.com

uStart

Another iGoogle alternative, and another one from France. uStart is similar with iGoogle mainly because of the widgets, tabs and themes. You can also further customise a theme with custom skins (you define the background colours and images, it doesn’t offer any of its own). It also has an RSS Reader, but like Netvibes, these cannot be separated – they have to widgets in a tab page.

It’s design is very rough (Netvibes has a far more better design), and the occasional spelling differences (it managed to use two versions of customise, and spelt useful as “usefull”) but it does the job.

ustart.org

Protopage

Found this after one person I follow on Twitter mentioned it, and this is pretty much the most customisable ‘personalised homepage’ as you get it. While there are no preset themes, you can customise the colour, the background, the size of the widgets (you can have widgets occupy the entire page). You can customise the columns each tabs have, and you can even make the widgets be in any location on the page with the “Free positioning” layout.

However, it is pretty basic in terms of apps. It, like uStart, can add RSS feeds but doesn’t have much in terms of third-party apps that iGoogle and Netvibes offer. The design is reminiscent of the early days of Web 2.0, but if you require the most basic functions then this will pretty much satisfy.

- protopage.com

Feedly

Alright, we’re going to go a bit different here. Some people would have used iGoogle to keep up to date with the latest news that was happening when they opened their browser. Feedly is a plugin for Firefox, Safari and Chrome that is, basically, a pretty feed reader. It links to Google Reader – which makes it easy for you to transfer the RSS feeds from iGoogle – and does what other web feed readers don’t: it organises it like a magazine. You can switch to a standard feed reader mode, but the magazine-like view does make it easier to see what you should look at. There are many sharing options – email, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to name a few.

The design, however, is the biggest selling point. It is beautiful, and I highly suggest that if you use iGoogle to simply look up the latest news, go to this first before you try the other iGoogle clones. When I first used it, I instantly fell in love with it.

- feedly.com

MyFav.es

Again, going to a different direction here. iGoogle allowed you to have widgets and be kept up-to-date with the news. However, more and more people are adopting pages that quickly take them to the page because they can’t seem to be bothered with a bookmarks bar.. Your browsers are adopting a “start page” by basing it on your favourite pages – but if you happen to be on multiple computers or browsers, then you need a page that will be consistent. Enter MyFav.es.

It basically presents the sites that you often frequently visit (of course, based on what you add, it doesn’t track anything). You save that page as your homepage on your computer and/or browsers, and you’re done.

Yes, it’s a very different direction from iGoogle – mainly because it doesn’t have widgets and it doesn’t have feeds. But if you get your news mostly from Facebook or Twitter, this is more likely to cut down the time for you to get on those sites.

- myfav.es

Join the Conversation

  • Strani

    It was sad to see iGoogle gone but I can say that I’m over the shock, thanks to http://www.start.me – I’ve been using this for a few months now and I haven’t missed iGoogle a bit.

  • Tom

    Try http://www.iloggo.com nice icon based starting page which works also on mobile browsers

  • David Mitchell

    Check out http://www.hinto.co also

    It’s a great alternative to iGoogle IMHO

  • Maritza Cárdenas O.

    I am arriving a little late to the conversation, I know :) But I have also been looking for options, particularly now that the date is getting closer.

    For the moment I am using http://startme.com because I found it to be very easy to use and it has a simple design. On top it allowed me to import from iGoogle, browsers and RSS readers, so I saved myself a lot of work building it again. Anyway it is good to know that out there are so many options!

  • Peter

    I prefer http://www.yourls.com. It’s dead simple startpage with your favorite links. No distractions or ads.

    • http://techgeek.com.au Terence Huynh

      Thanks for the tip off! I will add that to the list soon (once I am not in the airport)

  • Daniel George

    For gadget developers, an alternative to host their gadgets: http://host.gadget-blog.ro/

  • http://clintonwu.com/ Clinton Wu

    Hi Terrence, nice post. Before iGoogle shuts down, I would encourage your readers to try Skim.Me (http://skim.me). We are more along the lines of the Feedly type alternatives so if you’re looking for the 2005 dashboard design functionality, we’re probably not for you. I’m a founder and you can email me at wu at skim dot me with what you don’t like about it. We make your daily online routine more productive and have been working on this for the past year.

    Your routine sources (not just news and social media) are automatically setup, personalized and managed for you. Browse content from your sources in timed batches throughout the day and see how much you’ve accomplished, never how many unread you have. All the content is viewed in our app instead of linking you outside to new tabs. Releasing summer 2012!

  • Sad about iGoogle

    Protopage is an excellent choice. With the stupid decision of Google to close the iGoogle home page next year I have looked for alternatives and found that Protopage ( http://www.protopage.com/ ) is an excellent substitute. Indeed after spending the time setting up separate category tabs and widgets in Protopage can happily report that indeed it is superior to igoogle !

    RSS feeds are easier to add than with iGoogle and in Protopage audio podcasts play better, for example. The two Protopage widgets for Sticky Notes and Rich Text Notes (which also automatically creates an HTML code version) are useful.

    In contrast Protopage have a poor selection of their own widgets, but for example, their Unit Converter is OK instead of that in the Google gadget directory. However most of the Google gadgets that I used in iGoogle also work well in Protopage, but it is in setting them up that takes up the time in the change to using Protopage.

    Make a note of the gadgets you having been using in iGoogle and go (you can also use the ‘About’ link of the installed gadget) to the gadget store (http://www.google.com/ig/directory) to open their individual pages, click on ‘Webmaster tools’ at top right and select ‘embed this gadget’, set any options needed, and click “get the code” button and copy the code.
    Then go to the chosen tab you have set up in your Protopage, click on ‘Add widgets’, select ‘Web widget code’, click on edit and paste the code obtained from the iGoogle gadget directory as above.

    I find that the following Gadgets from Google directory work without any problem in Protopage: World Clocks; Math Calculator; Currency Converter; Color Palette; Google’s Map Search; Google’s Driving Directions ; Google Translate. The Google Calendar gadget works as well in Protopage, but as with iGoogle the Calendar entries disappear every so often until refreshed by logging-in to Google Calendar itself. The code from iGoogle’s Google Bookmarks I cannot get to work, but this can be accessed (as to other Google services) with simple bookmarks to one of the Google services and then using the black menu bar to go to others – it therefore does not matter too much that some basic Google services do not integrate so well with Protopage as with iGoogle.

    Why Google are closing iGoogle is incomprehensible, as can be judged from the response of the postings on this page, What has happened in this last year to make the Google leaders so dismissive of their core users and become corporate close-minded? However, I am so pleased to find that Protopage is such an excellent substitute for the lamented iGoogle page.

    • russ

      Thanks for the tip on getting the code for gadgets, just what I was looking for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boris.rybakov.180 Boris Rybakov

    Not bad, not bad at all – http://www.aboogy.com . I like Quick Link and Read Later tools.

  • Mitch Gannon

    Thanks for the tip about Netvibes.
    I have started setting it up and it rocks!

  • Dean.

    You could say the best replacement for iGoogle would be its competitor MyYahoo. It does the same thing. If google drops it, then move to another search provider

  • RandyPetty

    I’m not really seeing how my smartphone can replace what things like Igoogle do. If for no other reason because the screen is so small. Phone apps are viewed one thing at a time. I would be interested in hearing how Chrome can be customized to function as a dashboard. Thanks for the info on alternatives.