Yesterday after signing into my personalized Google homepage I noticed the Google logo to the left of the search bar changed to “iGoogle”. Now I think this pertains to the Firefox iGoogle plugin but could it also have something to do with the new themes being offered.
Today we’re releasing six themes for the personalized homepage that try to solve these challenges: a city, a teahouse (super cute — this one is my favorite), a winter scene, a sky, a beach and a bus stop [Google Blog]
I really hadn’t noticed this new feature until yesterday although if I poke around the net there’s even a digg from 2005 talking about iGoogle. Regardless, I just selected the lovely “Beach” theme and discovered the following as well.
All of our themes are dynamic: they change with your own local time of day, current weather conditions or season. If you add the beach theme, for example (changes with time of day), it will ask you for your Zip code and adjust itself to match your local sunrise and sunset times. [Google Blog]
It’s a cute idea and it does spice up your Google homepage, but I’m not super excited about it. I suppose I’ll have to track the sun on my beach scape theme today and see how it grows on me.
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iGoogle is the official name of their custom home pages. They just made the announcement yesterday!
The themes have been around for a few months. iGoogle seems to be the ability to build your own Google gadgets. Hopefully that would mean they are faster to load and more compatible with the personalized page. Then as with all things Google, you can save the custom gadget to your account and share it with your google contacts. Lifehacker describes it better (link)