iGoogle Introduces Canvass View

October 16th, 2008 at 12:00 am


iGoogle is Google’s take on Netvibes, iFrames and any other all-in-one portal page of widgets.  iGoogle is a portal page where users can add and customize gadget or widgets they want available on their iGoogle.  til now, iGoogle’s interface was cramped with so many frames that functionalities of even Google products were limited within iGoogle.  This meant that gadgets on iGoogle only displayed snippets of information and popped out of the interface once the user wanted to use the whole service.

Today, however, iGoogle introduces Canvass View.  this view is similar to they Google Reader interface where full articles can be read on roughly 90% of the screen’s length.  A side bar displays the categories and gadgets the user can select and view in detail.

This is an all good feature for iGoogle.  In fact all of the reviews on this feature have been positive.  However, as the Canvass View is new, not all gadgets are configured to fit the canvass.  Google released a number of their services with canvass view as well as other non-google product.  

Here are some featured gadgets equipped with the Canvass View as listed by iGoogle engineer Matt Gundersen in the Official Google Blog.

  • News – New gadgets from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post give me full-page views of what’s new in the world. Nice.
  • Games – The Sudoku gadget lets me play thousands of full-page Sudoku puzzles without squinting at 6-point type. The GoComics gadget gives me my fix of Garfield and Doonesbury and lets me choose from all of their other comics. I’ve also spent many coffee breaks browsing through videos from YouTube and CurrentTV.
  • Entertainment – I’ve configured the TV Guide gadget to my zip code and just used it today to figure out when the newest episode of The Office is playing. Flixster’s movies gadget lets me access trailers, ratings, and theater information for any movie. I also use the iLike gadget to browse news, concerts, and free MP3s from my favorite musicians.
  • Google stuff – The new Gmail gadget lets me read my full email and perform simple actions like send or reply to emails without leaving iGoogle. Last but not least, a gadget that I authored and use every day is for Google Finance, which provides full-screen finance charts and news of the stocks in my portfolio.

The introduction of the Canvass View replaces the Tabbed view iGoogle previously had.  The left navigation bar works like a file tree where gadgets can be accessed with a single click.