How to Use iGoogle

iGoogle Guide and Introduction

Learning how to use iGoogle is a cinch, if you use computers at all. iGoogle has customizable virtual gadgets to make your life more entertaining and more convenient, whether you are working, playing, or socializing online.

Your iGoogle startpages are going to look completely different than those of any of your friends or family, so you get an Internet experience uniquely suited to your needs, wants, and tastes. Individualize and customize at the same time.

Of coruse, you might be wondering right now: what the heck is iGoogle?

What Is iGoogle?

iGoogle is a personalized startpage and webs portal service created by Google and launched in 2005. i-Google was originally named Google Personalized Homepage, but changed its name to iGoogle in October of 2007. The start page includes a number of different web feeds and better access to Google Gadgets, for which the concept of iGoogle was originally created. People using the iGoogle are better able to utilize the Google Gadgets API, while also using certain gadgets found on Google Desktop. The Google Gadgets API is a public software, so anyone can build gadgets to interface with it.

Below are some of the most popular online gadgets you’ll find designed for iGoogle.

  • GoogleGram
  • Personal List
  • YouTube Channel
  • Framed Photo
  • Daily Me
  • Daily Literary Quote
  • Countdown
  • Free Form
  • Google Facts
  • Ebay Gadget (developer made)
  • Meteo-si (developer made)

Another cool iGoogle feature is the use of “themes” for the iGoogle homepage, which you may have seen on a friend’s computer. Choose a theme and your toolbar include pictures to beautify your computer workspace, including themes designed by Google and themes by the userbase of iGoogle. The user submitted themes are just amazing, as are the themes designed by professional artists (which started in April of 2008).

Tips for Using iGoogle

Now that you know what iGoogle is, let’s discuss how you use iGoogle in your everyday life. To start using iGoogle on your computer, go the Google homepage, then click on “Settings” in the right hand corner of the home page, then click on “iGoogle Settings”.

There should appear a list of Google Gadgets, likely displaying phrases like “Word of the Day”, “CNN.com”, “Google Translate”, and “Top Stories”. Each of these should have a blue “Delete” link to the right of them, which you can use to delete from your iGoogle homepage. Also, you can add “Add More Gadgets” underneath the gadgets list, which gives you dozens of different gadgets options.

More Google Gadgets

There are all kinds of Gadgets to browse through, which you can add to you iGoogle page with one click. Some of these might not popular with the general online public, but might be perfect for what you want.

Here are a few more options, just from a quick browse through the list. There are so many iGoogle Gadgets to choose from, my little list above isn’t nearly enough to give an understanding of the scope of the options.

  • Daily Horoscopes
  • Famous Optical Illusions
  • Hangman (lots of game options)
  • Current Moon Phase
  • Deviant Art – Sort Tool
  • To Do List
  • Free iTunes Downloads
  • Art News Blog
  • “Clouds” and “Dopplar Radar and Severe Weather Alerts”
  • Funny Cat Photos
  • YouTube Top Rated
  • SI Swimsuit Model of the Day
  • Hulu Video Stream
  • Art of the Day Zen Aquarium Fish Tank
  • Online Sticky Note
  • Today In History
  • Fat Loss Tip of the Day
  • Bible Verse of the Day
  • Fox News
  • Blood Day (game)
  • Sunset Photos
  • Malaysia Central
  • Greenpeace
  • Search the IMDB (Internet Movie Database)
  • Puzzles and Riddles
  • Green Bay Packers News of the Day
  • Stock Portfolio
  • Diner’s Journal
  • About Veterinary Medicine

There are hundreds and hundreds of pages of Google Gadgets to choose from, meaning there are thousands of Google Gadget options. You’ll find gadgets in virtually every language known to mankind, so if you are bilingual, you can have feeds in every language you’re fluent in. Just about any hobby, topic, or field of endeavour is covered, while there are countless free Internet computer games to choose from, if that’s your desire.

Adding a Tab in iGoogle

To add a tab to your iGoogle, simply click the “Add Tab” link. Give your tab a name you’ll be able to remember it by, then start adding gadgets to that particular tab. You can even take suggestions from i-Google by selecting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option, whereupon Google adds gagdets chosen to fit the tab name you chose.

Changing Themes on iGoogle

Click on the “Change Themes” link, and you should find a list of suggested themes for your Google pages. You can also browse through categories like Animals, Environment, Sports, Trendy, Abstract, Fun, and Destinations. Other options include “By Artist”, Causes, Games, Nature, Food, Travel, Comics, and even Soccer, of all things.

You’ll find “Theme of the Day” suggestions, “3D Views from Google Earth”, or even the classic iGoogle theme, if you find these pictures on your computer screen distracting.

Removing Features in iGoogle

Removing gadgets, tabs and themes are easy in iGoogle. All you have to do is get that option you no longer want on your page, then click on the “x” that corresponds to that feature in the top left corner of the box.

In fact, playing around with iGoogle for a few minutes should be all you need to learn how to use iGoogle. Make sure you have a little time when you introduce yourself to the iGoogle options, so you can browse through the many options thoroughly (or extensively) and find exactly the Google Gadgets you want. Adding, subtracting and rearranging is easy, once you find what you’re looking for on iGoogle.

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