We've rolled out some new iGoogle features, including full-screen gadgets, a left-side navigation bar, and chat. We'd like to explain more fully what changes we've made, why we've made them, and why we hope you'll agree that they improve the iGoogle experience.
Up until now, iGoogle has been focused on quick, at-a-glance access to the information you care about. But we recognize that sometimes quick updates aren't all you're looking for, so we've created a feature that lets you expand your gadgets to full screen, or "canvas view," and thus experience much more, and much richer, content.
Now, for instance, you can do a quick email check in your Gmail gadget, or open it to canvas view to write and respond to emails from within iGoogle. You can check the temperature in your weather gadget or expand it to get a detailed forecast for a weekend trip. You can watch videos, play games and use countless more rich applications, all in full screen, and all from inside iGoogle.
Expand your gadget to full-screen by clicking its name on the left-side navigation bar or the maximize button on the gadget itself. Click the button or gadget name to return to your regular iGoogle view.
Similarly, your RSS gadgets now offer both a quick glance at a given topic and a full screen multimedia view of material you want to explore more fully, including inline videos and photos. If you have Google Reader, you can also keep track of what you've read and star your favorite feeds.
iGoogle now includes a chat feature, located on the left navigation bar, so you can chat with your friends and family right from your iGoogle homepage. If you're a Gmail user, your chat list will be automatically updated with all your chat friends from Gmail. If you're new to chat, or not a Gmail user, you can easily add the friends you'd like to chat with by clicking on the 'Add friends' link. We'll then send them an invitation to be your chat friend on iGoogle.
If you prefer to not chat with friends and family from your iGoogle page, you can simply select 'Sign-out of chat' in the menu next to your status.
These new features made it important to look more closely at how we help you find and use content on iGoogle.
The new left navigation shows you all your subject tabs (for Sports, News, Music, etc), neatly organized with the gadgets for each tab listed underneath. We think this new format makes it much easier to find specific gadgets (especially as your number of gadgets on your page grows) and quickly click them in and out of canvas view.
In addition, the chat feature is located on the left navigation bar, to give you easy, instant access to your friends.
We hope this page has helped to explain the thinking behind iGoogle's new features and offered some useful ideas on how to make the most of your web content. We're always working to improve iGoogle and help it grow right along with the web. We believe that a better-organized and more socially connected iGoogle homepage will help you to make the most of what the web has to offer.
The iGoogle Team