Something Big in Google ig

July 20, 2008

On Friday, July 18, 2008, after most right coasters left their desks, Google posted “Google’s Services Converge in the New iGoogle or “ig”. You can sign up for this service here. Note that the new service is not available to every Google “ig” user, just some lucky beta testers and developers. Bloggle also has some information available here.

ReadWriteWeb has reported on this technology as well. You can read that post here.

The most noticeable change is the addition of full screen components, which makes it easier on the addled goose’s aging eyeballs.

You may be able to access this steroid-charged service by following the directions here (but no guarantees):

I have put in bold and dark red what you must copy and paste. First, navigate to Then paste this string into the address bar: javascript:_dlsetp(‘v2=1’);

Here’s a sample display provided by Google here:

new ig google

The principal differences are:

  • An iGoogle feed is available in what Google calls “canvas view”, which is a more Gmail style layout
  • A new Gmail gadget that delivers most of the features of Gmail from within iGoogle
  • Gmail Chat implemented in iGoogle’s sidebar.

In my opinion this change to iGoogle is quite important. These frames look like the little boxes found on many modern Web pages. Don’t be fooled. Each “frame” is a “container”. From what I can tell by trying to make sense of Google’s prose in its technical documents, a “container” is a virtual machine. Instead of looking at a Web page with content, Google is using a virtual machine to provide content and functionality. One of my colleagues told me, “No big deal Microsoft and Yahoo do this as well.” I agree. One difference, which I noticed, is that when iGoogle is implemented on a mobile device, the mobile device’s display is a baby virtual machine–a personalized baby virtual machine able to predict what you need before you know you need the information or the service.

The big question is, “Will this container technology work on a mobile device?” The first step will be to test the functions of the “new” iGoogle or “ig” and see if the technology is sufficiently stable, latency free, and useful. Some of Google’s new services appear and then are left behind by other innovations.

The new iGoogle warrants a test drive if you can get it to work. If you have information about Google’s container technology, please, share it with the two or three other people who read this Beyond Search Web log.

Stephen Arnold, July 20, 2008


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