iGoogle just recently got even cooler by putting its new canvas view into effect for U.S. users.
With new features and details like the tab display as a left-hand column rather than a menu up top, and each gadget having its own individual page for expanded viewing, iGoogle aims to make it possible for users to get all of their ritualistic Web practices taken care of without leaving the comfort of their own homepage. And this is what the newly redesigned iGoogle looks like with its canvas view: iGoogle Canvas View Not all gadgets support the new expanded view, but here's a list of some that can:
* News: Enjoy the latest headlines from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
* Games: Now you can play the Sudoku gadget, or read strips on GoComics without straining your eyes. And of course, there's always tons of time just begging to be to be wasted on YouTube and CurrentTV.
* Entertainment: Configure the TV Guide gadget for your zip code and pull it up to find the listings of your favorite television programs. Or use Flixster's movies gadget to access trailers, ratings and theater information for any movie; and iLike to browse news, concerts and free MP3s from your favorite musicians.
* Google stuff: The new Gmail gadget lets you read your full e-mail and perform simple actions like send or reply without leaving iGoogle. And, finally, a gadget from iGoogle engineer Matt Gunderson called Google Finance, which provides full-screen finance charts and news of your preferred stocks.
In this expanded view (which Google says should be available to users outside the U.S. very soon), entire Web pages are made available to explore through iFrames without disrupting ads or revenue tracking and, of course, without leaving Google.
Regardless of the occasional flack Google's been catching for "copying Facebook," the added room for gadget developers to move around and get creative in is exciting, and it will be interesting to see what these new freedoms allow them to come up with next.
Plus, if it came down to never leaving your Facebook or never leaving your iGoogle page -- no contest, right?