Saturday, June 13, 2009

Faster & Easier Version iGoogle for Android and iPhone

Google rolled out a new version of its iGoogle page ,for the Android and iPhone platforms. New features include the ability to access more of your tabs and improved gadget support for interacting with your content. After killing the special version of the iGoogle personalized home page for the iPhone and Android devices wayback in January, it created quite a bit of furore. Google at that time explained that they are looking forward to provide a consistent experience across all devices. For the last five months iPhone and Android users navigating to saw the generic mobile version of iGoogle, a bare bones implementation that has the virtue of running on your old RAZR, but which unfortunately gave iPhone or G1 users an old RAZR like user experience.

This enhanced faster and easier version of its iGoogle page is a worthy replacement for the old iPhone/Android specific iGoogle with support for all desktop iGoogle widgets except those that are Flash based. Each widget appears as a large button initially, which when tapped expands to reveal its content. The new iGoogle is not the default, it’s offered as a “Try the new Mobile iGoogle!” option to iPhone and Android users (only) visiting

Everyone loves iGoogle because of the availability of the interesting information all day long. You can read a little bit of news here and there, glance at finance portfolios, take a look at the weather forecast, and then do a Google search. It doesn't require a big commitment of time and energy — it's simply there for us whenever we need it. This kind of availability is even more important on a phone, where it can take a long time to surf. That's why iGoogle is so convenient on mobile devices. When you're waiting in line, you can check iGoogle on your phone for a quick "info snack" — even in areas with mediocre network coverage. iGoogle now supports more gadgets, though Google is sure to point out that those gadgets requiring Flash still won't work.

This new version is faster and easier to use. It supports tabs as well as more of your favorite gadgets, including those built by third-party developers. There are a lot of powerful JavaScript capable browsers on devices other than the iPhone and Android that could possibly handle this richer iGoogle Mobile.

Next in the line is the new tabbed view. This lines up your content in a way that is easy to rifle through quickly to find exactly what you want.

For feed-based gadgets, this version has an in-line display of articles. Users can thus read their article summaries without having to leave the page. In addition to this, users can also rearrange their gadget order or choose to keep their favorite gadgets open in the browser. This will allow them to easily access the gadgets on their next visit.

The best part, Google claims is that none of these changes will alter the layout of gadgets on users’ desktop computer. They can now play around and tune their mobile experience. This new version of iGoogle for mobile is available in 38 languages. Users can visit the iGoogle website in their mobile browser and tap ‘Try the new Mobile iGoogle’ to use this tool.