Sunday, January 27, 2008

iGoogle Mobile

I like personalised home pages and have had one for quite a few years. I started with netvibes then transferred to igoogle (formerly when I found that you could get it on your mobile (surprise, surprise). Since then netvibes has developed a really slick mobile site and google have gone backwards. The only thing that keeps me with google is that I like google reader mobile. So I tried various hacks to try and get google reader into the netvibes mobile site without any success. The igoogle mobile site was pretty basic (unless you live in the US) so I just forgot about it and only accessed it on the PC.
That was until Google released the iphone version of igoogle (, it looked as it would do on an iphone, well at least it does if you access it with Opera mini (funny that!). At this point I need to say that I had done some work on my igoogle site already to try and make it phone friendly. Things like, having separate tabs for each area (weather, news, sport etc.) and then setting each tab to one column width (instead of the default three).
I should have been happy, but found a small and irritating bug. The standard news gadgets (thats what google calls them, such as the New Zealand Herald) worked perfectly, but when I added a news feed, such as editors picks it just wouldn't work properly. So I decided to solve the problem by creating my own gadget for the news feeds that I couldn't find one for when you searched on igoogle. It took a bit of research and a basic understanding of coding, but I created my first one last week. This has been submitted to google who have approved it and are now adding it to the repository for everybody to use and will probably be available by the end of next week. So if you want it on your igoogle page just go to add new stuff and search for editors picks. As a bonus (because it was my first gadget) google sent me a token that is redeemable at their store. Don't know what I will get, but will post photos of it here when it arrives. It's a great feeling to know that you have created something that other people can use and it will hopefully solve my igoogle mobile problem!

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