Now that everyone has sort of settled down about the demise of Google Reader and switched to Digg or some other alternative, the web is mourning over the shutdown of yet another beloved Google service. That’s right – iGoogle has moved on to the Google graveyard.
There are lots of different websites you can use to replace iGoogle, but there’s one that tends to stand out among the others -- particularly because it was made to look and function just like iGoogle. It's called igHome.
So if you’re looking for something that still shows all your personalized gadgets like email, weather, RSS feeds, horoscopes and more, then igHome may be just the right alternative for you. Here's a brief breakdown of what you can expect to get out of it.
How Does igHome Compare to iGoogle?
igHome is basically set up nearly exactly like iGoogle, and the only thing it really lacks is Google+ integration, but of course that's because igHome is not part of Google. It still uses the basic iGoogle layout featuring a Google search bar at the top and columns of boxes beneath it, which you can use to drag around your gadgets and organize it however you want.
A few of the big main features you'll find on igHome that are almost identical to iGoogle include:
Gadgets: igHome has an extremely wide selection of gadgets you can add and drag around your page, comparable to what iGoogle has offered. It doesn't have everything, but there are certainly lots to explore and choose from.
Google menu: Even though ighHome is not affiliated with Google, it still has a complete Google menu bar at the very top of your screen, just like what iGoogle had. It lists links to every major Google service, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Feedly, Google Bookmarks, Google Maps, Google Images, YouTube, Google News and Google Drive.
Tabs: Just like with iGoogle, you can create separate tabs on igHome if you like to add lots of gadgets or feeds and need to keep them organized. You can find the "Add Tab..." link on the menu bar on the left side.
Themes: iGoogle had a whole bunch of different background images and colors you could choose from to customize your layout, and so does igHome. Simply select "Choose Theme" to the right side of the menu bar to do that.
Mobile: If you scroll down to the bottom of your igHome page, you should see a "Mobile" link. It converts the page into a mobile friendly version, so you can save it as a web page shortcut on your smartphone if you like.
Like iGoogle, you can decorate and personalize your igHome page just the way you like in the same boxy, grid-like style, and it's one of the few services that actually has a pretty great selection of gadgets to choose from. All you have to do is click on the "Add Gadgets" in the top right corner to get started.
You'll be taken to a page where a bunch of categories are listed to the left, with country-specific gadgets below it. In the center of the page, some of the more popular gadgets are featured, or if you know exactly what you're looking for, you can use the search bar at the top to see if there is an appropriate gadget that fits your needs.
You can also click on the "Add RSS Feed" button if you want gadgets that feature specific news sites or blogs.
A Brief Look at How You Can Set Up Your igHome Account and Import Your Stuff from iGoogle
To get your own igHome account, visit igHome.com, press the big blue "Sign In to Personalize" button and then click "Create a New Account." Once you've done that, igHome gives you a bunch of popular gadgets by default, which you can reorganize, add to or delete later.
If you don't want to manually go ahead and add everything to your new igHome page, there's an option you can use to transfer your current iGoogle stuff to igHome. To do this, click on "Profile" under the gear icon in the top right corner.
A list of your page preferences will be displayed, which you can customize to your liking. On the left side, there are a bunch of links displayed. Click the one that says "Import from iGoogle."
igHome then gives you instructions on how to move your stuff from iGoogle to igHome. You basically have to access your iGoogle settings and download an XML file of your information, which you can then upload to igHome.
Although not everything may be transferable, it's a handy option if you've already got a lot of RSS feeds and other important things set up on iGoogle that you don't want to manually set up all over again.
Set igHome as Your Homepage and You're Done!
Last but not least, all you need to do is edit your web browser's settings to include igHome as your new Homepage. And now you can get almost the exact same experience as you did with iGoogle, long after iGoogle is gone.