For years Google’s distinctive home page—uncluttered and dead simple to use—has stood in stark contrast to the hyperlink carnivals on display at sites like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. Whereas those firms’ design motto seemed to be More! Louder! Colors! Google offered a noticeably leaner philosophy: less, quiet, easier. (It sure didn’t hurt that its search results were often better.)
But now, Google is beginning to let its fans dress up at least one page on its site. With the infinitely customizable iGoogle service, you can stock your own Google welcome screen with as much (or as little) content as you like. Want an up-to-the-minute weather report? Check. How about current national news headlines? Check. Interested in local movie times, the hottest YouTube videos, the latest sports scores? Check, check, and check. Whatever you want to know, you can find it out by personalizing your iGoogle page.
iGoogle also gives you centralized access to your Google apps. From your iGoogle page, you can chat with friends, keep an eye on your Gmail inbox, see when a collaborator has updated a spreadsheet, and display your Google Calendar.
This chapter tells you how to set up and customize your iGoogle page, putting the whole Internet right at your fingertips.
Start by going to http://www.google.com. If you haven’t created an iGoogle page yet, then you see the familiar, minimalist Google search page. Look in the upper-right corner for the “Sign in” ...