Goodbye iGoogle, your time has come

Google announced back in July 2012 that it would retire its personalized homepage service iGoogle on November 1, 2013. The customizable startpage on the Internet enabled users to create their own personal homepage that they could fill with contents of interest.

Users had options to add gadgets to the startpage, including weather widgets, RSS feeds or a photo viewer and also to change the default theme to a custom one.

If you try to open the iGoogle website today, you will notice that you are automatically redirected to the Google homepage. The service has been shut down and any attempt to open its main page or a sub-page will result in the redirect.

With that said, it is also worth mentioning that Google is in the process of deleting all user data associated with the iGoogle service. If you missed the deadline and have not exported your data to your local system, you have no option whatsoever to do so now that the service has been shut down.

iGoogle is gone

igoogle

iGoogle startpage

Only data that you have integrated into iGoogle from other services, for instance Gmail or Google Calendar, are still available as you can still access it when you open the products directly in your web browser or application of choice.

The shutdown is the second high profile product that Google shuts down this year. The shutdown of Google Reader strengthened third party services and it is likely that the discontinuation of iGoogle will do the same for third party personalized homepage services.

We have reviewed several alternatives to iGoogle in the past, including long standing services such as Netvibes but also new services like Backstit.ch that were created as a response to Google's announcement.

There have not been as many announcements of new services as was the case when Google confirmed the closure of Google Reader. This can be partially explained by the dominance of Google Reader in its field, while iGoogle had always stronger competition in the form of Netvibes and other services.

It remains to be seen what users of iGoogle will do now that the service has been shut down for good. Some will likely stop using personalized startpages while others may migrate to services such as Netvibes or Backstit.ch instead which offer a similar feature set (some would say advanced).

Closing Words

Google's main drive in recent time seems to be the focus on its strongest products only, and to either shut down those that do not meet certain criteria, or to integrate them into the company's Google+ service. While it is unlikely that we will see a resurrection of iGoogle in some form on Google+ or as part of Google Now, it is still possible that the company will introduce such a chance at a later point in time.

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Responses to Goodbye iGoogle, your time has come

  1. Jolanda November 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I still can't believe that Google did it... They closed down a service that was used by millions of us around the world...

    Anyway, I have changed last week to http://startme.com and it works even better and faster than iGoogle, so I'm not too depressed about this after all.

  2. DJ November 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    A shame. It was a good product, but I suppose they are shifting their focus to mobile? I have waited until the very end but had an alternative waiting. Changed my browser home page this morning. It will be missed.

  3. Edwin Grimsley November 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    For those of you who are still using i Google, the time has come, since it's going to close its doors at the end of play today. So i advice you to choose http://www.startme.com/ because it is simple , easy to use , amazing themes & features :)

  4. Nelson November 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Ustart.org is my best alternative :)

    Bye bye igoogle

    • Luis November 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Agree with you there, not so many people seem to know about it though!

  5. Pierre November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    I replaced it by Yahoo and MSN (the page, I mean)

  6. dwarf_t0ssn November 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    RIP iGoogle. It just doesn't make sense, but we ought to expect the big G to pull the rug out from under us by now, once we get accustomed to something nice.

    I'm trying out protopage, and I gotta say it's pretty nice. The coloring options (specifically: the ability to have a nice dark page with light fonts) are amazing and the layout is very iGoogle style. Adding RSS feeds on it is a janky process, though, and the pre-made selection of widgets is just lacking and sad. All in all I think if you don't mind manually adding your old RSS feeds to it, it is one of the better options going.

    Here's what I have so far..I mean look at that layout y'all: http://i.imgur.com/eoNNRR2.png

    igHome is alright, but I don't like the coloring options nearly as much. Kind of a dealbreaker.

    For those looking to add Ghacks to protopage:

    -Click "add widgets" at the top left.
    -In the box at the top of the drop menu, paste this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Ghacksnet
    -Click go.
    -Drag the widget window that pops up to your page.

    In case you want to port your iGoogle RSS feeds to other pages (like protopage etc.):

    http://www.google.com/ig/settings still allows you to export your settings to your desktop, but it might not be up for much longer. If you never heard to export settings (like me), this is your chance to do so now! The XML file can be read in notepad and from there it isn't too tough to pick out the URLs for your iGoogle widget RSS feeds. Some won't port well, (Slashdot URL from iGoogle settings didn't work on protopage for me) but most do just fine.

  7. Luis November 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    I used iGoogle everyday for the past 6/7 years! I have found a great alternative though in http://www.ustart.org it looks practically the same (albeit with less functionality) but overall you can adapt it to look very similar to your old iGoogle page :).

  8. August November 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    No! I was going to start using it today. Didn't know about this. Oh well, will check out the link by Jolanda.

  9. James November 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I recommend http://protopage.com/

    I've been using it for a couple of weeks now, it's fast to load, customizable and does pretty much everything igoogle used to do!

  10. Coyote November 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    I've found the "Awesome new tab page" extension for Chrome to be a great replacement. it allows a widget like interface with customizable links to whatever websites you like (along with some search functionality for most sites). And as it doesn't load from a 3rd party server. Plus it has tons of customization.
    Here's just what I got running;
    http://i.imgur.com/LoEvJDl.jpg

  11. TOm November 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Try http://www.iloggo.com - icons based homepage which also work on mobile browsers

  12. BMO November 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Stinks for people that use it, but at the same time, I'm kind of glad Google is continuing this trend of cutting services. It just pushes people to other non-Google things, inspires people to create alternatives, and generally is slowly creating resentment for Google.

    Closure by closure, piece by piece, Google is moving their way to destruction. And since they decided to change their motto from 'Don't Be Evil' to MONEY MONEY MONEY and are clearly colluding with the NSA and any law-enforcement group that wishes to trample upon individual liberties (although of course they deny it, who wouldn't?), I couldn't be happier.

    Also just wish none of it had happened in the first place. I used to love Google. Oh well, StartMe will do nicely. And DuckDuckGo for search =D

  13. Freddy November 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Martin, what do you think of http://www.hinto.co as an alternative to the now gone iGoogle? Thanks.

  14. Terry B. November 4, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Have you tried http://startific.com ?
    You will be amazed of how interactive and different it is from all the normal and boring
    startpages out there. Not your average startpage, and definitely a great user interface.

  15. Billie Young November 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Yes igoogle is shut down last few days but now i am using the startme. It is the best alternatives of iGoogle and easy to use as well as you can also find the more from igooglealternatives.info .

  16. Leire November 15, 2013 at 3:14 am #

    I am also using http://startme.com and I am happy to see other people recommend it. I find it very intuitive and it gives me a very easy way to put in one page everything I use. Another good feature for me is that you can set it up in many languages, so I could recommend it to friends and family abroad that were looking for an alternative.

  17. Jon Thomas February 4, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    Another http://www.start.me user here. Now that we're a few months down the road, I can say that I haven't regretted the switch one moment.

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