iGoogle retirement date set

Those of you who like to get a little bit more from your search engines may be familiar with a nifty little feature of Google, known as iGoogle. Unfortunately the service is being discontinued in November of 2013, with the mobile version being removed on July 31st 2012. It's a real shame, but we're going to keep it's memory going by looking at just why it was so handy - as well as checking out some alternatives.

iGoogle, you Google, we all Google

If you're not familiar with iGoogle, it's essentially a complimentary service to go along with your Google experience. By logging into your Google account and browsing to google.com/ig you'll be able to personalise your search engine's display to include all kinds of fun extras.

For example, if you like to be able to check up on your email without logging into your account all the time, bringing up the iGoogle home page will enable you to check on the most recent five messages in your main inbox at a glance. To make it even more versatile, you can also read, reply to, forward and delete emails with ease.

Other particularly useful applications for the service include 'at a glance' news headlines, Twitter timelines, sports news and even the weather in any part of the world you decide you'd like updates for.

The real strength of iGoogle was the fact that it is so easy to use. Simply by ticking a few boxes you are able to create a fully personalised experience to serve as your central internet hub. It still offers you the ability to search online, but it's got so much extra to top it off that we couldn't help falling in love.

So what do we do now?

Unfortunately, now that the retirement date for iGoogle has been confirmed, many users are going to have to find alternatives. If you're a mobile user, Google recommends checking out some of the great home screen widgets available on Google Play, while those of you browsing on your desktop can take advantage of the wide range of different personalisation and customisation apps and widgets available for Google's Chrome browser.

While it'll never be quite the same as the easy experience presented by iGoogle, it's probably fair to say that all good things come to and end, and that we hope Google can learn from the success of iGoogle in order to bring us an even more powerful and versatile tool in the future.

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