New iGoogle Suits Me Fine. Others? Not So Much.

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-10-17 Print this article Print

Yesterday, I published this short post on the new canvas view and left navigation changes Google made to its iGoogle homepage application.

I couldn't say much then because Google hadn't yet pinged one of its illustrious data centers to switch my new iGoogle page on. Of course, an hour after I posted Google did flip that switch and I've been accessing the new iGoogle for the last 18 hours or so.

I'm comfortable with the changes. Click on a left tab to get a canvas view of a gadget, then click home to go back to the start of iGoogle. Easy enough. I'll use that in perpetuity for Google Reader and Gmail, but perhaps not so much for the other gadgets, such as weather or movie times, where snapshots are all that I require.

Apparently, I am in the minority. Known Johnson notes that Gmail has been changed so much that he finds it practically unusable. He correctly notes that you can't access contacts, folders or URL links from here.

But all you have to do to view full Gmail is click a tab in the upper right hand corner and it will pop open for full access. Not a big deal, but that's just me.

While Johnson's comments have merit (even though I don't share his gripes), some folks will agree with him. If enough folks flame Google for this, you can bet Google will jump to make changes.

Remember the hullabaloo Google caused when it shared Reader feeds without users' permission? This isn't that egregious, if only because it doesn't infringe on user privacy, but Google will make changes if enough users sqwawk.

I received user comments after my post, some of which I didn't publish because they included foul language, telling me how bad the new iGoogle is. Ed wrote:

Google sprung the changes on us millions of users with NO warning and NO ability to go back to the superior design they WERE providing. Everyday, this company becomes more and more like Microsoft. This is their "Vista Moment" and signals the beginning of the end for Google & Co.

Calling the iGoogle changes Google's "Vista moment" is overly dramatic.

It's beyond farfetched to compare changes in the aesthetics of a widget Web page to the horribly mishandled launch of a multi-billion-dollar desktop operating system. Something doesn't add up, um, like, scale of importance.

I encourage readers flaming Google and other message boards about the new iGoogle to use it through the weekend. If you're still not used to and satisfied with the changes, which by most standards are minimal and unobtrusive, then flame away.

Check out complaints on this Google Group. |

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