Google re-branding personal home page, adding widget maker
Google's personalized home page is getting a new name and some new tools to go along with it.
Google is renaming its personal home page iGoogle tonight. Google is also adding a new tool called Gadget Maker that helps people create their own widgets for use on their iGoogle page. The Gadget Maker comes with seven templates, including two media gadgets to pull in content from YouTube and online and offline photo collections. Users will also be able to organize their personal space with a countdown timer and a simple 10 item to-do list. There's also a free-form widget that lets a user mix together various media such as text and pictures.
This is a step in the right direction for Google's personalized home page efforts, although not nearly as fast as some of its competitors in the single page aggregation space. Netvibes has recently come out with branded content pages, and Yourminis has taken the widgets off the browser and onto the desktop using Apollo. I'm still not a big fan of Google's layout, which feels a little boxy and restrictive, but the new themes have spiced things up.
The new features are set to launch at 9 p.m. PST tonight.