Thursday, October 16, 2008

iGoogle launches canvas view

By Dan Holevoet, Developer Programs

We're happy to announce the launch of the canvas view feature to iGoogle users in the U.S., rolling out over the course of the day.  The canvas view feature allows gadget developers to build richer content, games, and UI for iGoogle's tens of millions of users by allowing them to build powerful full-page applications. In addition, canvas view provides developers with the opportunity to monetize their gadgets.



To get started, check out the documentation and examples on the iGoogle developer website. The site includes detailed information about iGoogle as well as information on upcoming OpenSocial functionality.

Try out the updated version of iGoogle and check out some of the great canvas view gadgets developers have already built.

47 comments:

  1. Wonderful. A _whole_ column is devoted to 3 entries: the "tabs" column. This is a waste of real estate and causes the useful columns to be scrunched up. Please put the "tabs" back at the top of the page.

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  2. I despise the "canvas view". It destroys my orientation to information and iGoogle's usefulness. Please put tabs back at the top of the page.

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  3. what a mess i can't get my homepage, i'm stuck on one thing at a time i will look for something else

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  4. Dont force canvas view on us, give us an option to get rid of the
    home column on the left. it is totally useless

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  5. Seriously - give us the option for the other layout. Besides utterly wasting valuable left/right space (which is much more valuable than top-bottom space), what happened to the expanding stories in RSS feeds? I used to love that I could either click on the + sign and read what I wanted right in the window, or wait for the bubblehelp version of the same info. That was really useful and now it's gone! I mean, did you actually test this UI with real users? There's no way they preferred it over the old one. It's prettier, but it sure isn't more useful.

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  6. I loved the last view, having an option for columns. Now, everything is too scrunched up and having the tab info in a column wastes space. Every browser has added tabs as an improvement, and Google takes them away? You say this was done for developers who design widgets? How about them designing them to work in the old format? I'd really like the option rather than losing tabs.

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  7. I have to agree with everyone else. I really hate it. I love Google and I don't want to leave my start page here behind, but this is really a deal breaker for me. It's so clumsy and the design is unpleasant.

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  8. HATE, HATE, HATE the sidebar!!! PLEASE, make it an OPTION not a REQUIREMENT!!! Tabs-at-the-top!!! Please, please, PLEASE!!!

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  9. I agree with the others. Move the tabs back. Take up too much screen space. Or, at least make it an options. Theme builders are getting grief about this change since most people don't know this was a system change. Also, please advise of these changes in advance.

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  10. Agreed. The side column needs to be OPTIONAL. Please make this a top priority to put the tabs back on top. This has been an issue ever since the sandbox came out. Please get it done. My users are complaining to me about it too.

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  11. We need to be able to switch back to old view. The forced expanded feeds all over the igoogle make it unreadable.

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  12. This is the first time I have seen a Google product take a step backwards. This may be a good feature, but I have been using iGoogle since the beginning and found it the most useful single page on the internet, of which I am in constant use of. It was an ideal hub for me. I feel like it has been discontinued. This new set up makes the page useless to me. I am giving it a week perhaps two, for someone to step in and realize this was not released correctly. This is a feature, not my only choice. We all know how Google works and we all know this shouldn't be that difficult to allow me to restore the features I am used to with iGoogle as well as disabling this feature.

    Side Tabs
    I can see where some people might find this useful, but it really is not for how I have customized my page. I now missing 8% of screen space when fully expanded on my laptop. (1438 px across)

    I can suffer through that, but what makes the two features that makes this unworkable is the canvas view and the fact that I cannot minimize the view with one click.

    Minimizing View
    I work with the Internet so I am constantly on it, iGoogle is my homepage. Example would be, sometimes I don't want to see my emails, sometimes I do, sometimes I just want to peak to see if someone wrote me, most times I don't want to be it distracted by them. I frequently click it quickly when the page opens up and then go where I need to go. Silly habit i know, but it is what I am used to. Now I have to click, select 1 of several options, which is somewhere in the middle. Not worth the brief time that I am looking at the page. Why would someone remove this feature and tuck it in a menu is beyond me?

    Canvas View
    Might a good idea, but still has a lot of bugs to work through for websites to fully take an advantage of. Unfortunately, the Gmail gadget, which is at the center of my page, and I use it a lot.
    Now when I click on the link I no longer go to Gmail to use my email, it is embedded in my page. Fine use of an API, but not for gmail. There is a feature of gmail that is the most important feature someone writing an email, especially a long one. Auto save, which doesn't work in the canvas view. While typing a long reply, I hit something, I am not sure what, it all happened so fast and I have never been that confused. My email, was gone. Do saved draft, now way to use the back button. My message, lost. 15 minutes, and a really good reply bam. Normally I would with a long email I would ctrl-a ctrl-c for a clipboard backup. But this was Gmail, didn't need to do that, so I thought. So, is that what I do? Years, of using Gmail and getting used to it, I will abandon iGoogle before I change the way I work with email. Sorry Google.

    Little things is what makes Google great, but when you start breaking those little things, Google becomes just another Internet Pioneer.

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  13. I don't like the igoogle home page or the way it presents the E-mail on that page. I don't like the E-mail preview panel on the new format. When I go to my E-mail I keep switching to the old full version; just wish I could do the same with the home page. I also noted that if you reply or compose and E-mail under the new system there appears to be no spell check, did I miss it?
    Let's get the old stuff back :-)

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  14. My negative feedback:
    - rounded corners

    - longer loading time

    - still excruciatingly slow to arrange gadgets

    - inbox with no shortcut keys

    - canvas = larger gadgets, same amount of information

    This is what I noticed immediately.
    (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gecko/20080829 Firefox/2.0.0.17)

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  15. I have to agree with everyone else the forced tabs on the side waste alot of screen space.

    It's not that big a deal on my desktop, but I also use my igoogle page on my mobal device a nokia n810 and the forced side tabs are a huge space waster there.

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  16. Nice Post. Thanks for sharing this information with us.
    Search Engine Optimization Service

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  17. I don't like the "new" canvas layout. When I first saw it on Friday, I thought there was something wrong with my browser! Ewwww!

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  18. I've been using igoogle forever, and this canvas view...really sucks. I'd like to go back to the old look.

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  19. The canvas view is very irritating. As for Google it shows a lack of respect for their users. If it stays, I'll have to consider the alternatives. Plus I am thinking this is a sign that it is time to sell my Google stock. It does feel very Microsoft like.

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  20. Same here, the tabs on top where MUCH better in terms of real estate. I see the benefit of being able to drill down to a particular gadget in a hierarchical view. But the main disadvantage is the loss of an entire screen colum.

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  21. Ugh, from the MOST user friendly page to the LEAST. Do not want.

    Jdcarey1

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  22. I agree with everyone. The new column is useless. Please remove it or give us the option to use the old version.

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  23. Awful. Plus, gmail within canvas view does not autosave. I've lost a lot of emails including a particularly long one today and I am NOT HAPPY about it.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. I agree with everyone else - the tabs is pointless and redundant. It is using screen space to tell me what is on my screen already. This was designed with a developer in mind, not a user. Surely this complaint has been so widespread and vocal it has made it up the chain of command; so please, just give us some hint as to whether or not we can at least opt out of it.

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  26. canvas may maximize the new igoogle, but the need to Minimize still remains!!!!! there was no need to remove the option to minimize gadgets!! that was what made life easier with toms of stuff on your home page..click and they were minimized!!!!!! :-)

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  27. Yes, a lot of users are right!

    GIVE US THE OPTION !!!!

    Dont force canvas view on us, give us an option to get rid of the
    home column on the left. it is totally useless

    What was wrong with the TABS?

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  28. Screw this. I want the old setup back now!

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  29. I dont think I will get use to this new look. The old one worked great. Remember the basic rule:

    Keep whats working, fix whats broken. The old tabs worked great.

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  30. This sucks so bad I decided to just have my own domain/website and create my own portal/homepage stuff. Yeah it cost me a few bucks a month but it's worth every penny to get away from google and there increasing insane ways of doing business.

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  31. I agree. Let me get rid of the canvas view. It waste space.

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  32. give us the option to not use canvas view. it's annoying.

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  33. I hate the new Canvas with a passion. Why do you have to fix something that is not broken???
    I lost a long email bfore I could send it No draft?? Where is the Spell check?? Where are my Contacts??

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  34. Maybe Google is using this as some kind of early long and drawn out April Fool's prank. Or maybe they're trying to scare us in preparation for Halloween.

    Seriously, Google: Listen to your users! Nobody likes the new layout. Why can't we just have the old layout (space-saving horizontal tabs) with the silly "canvas view" feature you want to implement?

    I'll echo everyone else: At least give us the option to change it back!

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  35. Sidebar terrible - My eyesight is not the best and I have my view size boosted - before I could easily quick between tabs at the top of the screen now I have to scroll the screen down to reach some of my tabs at the bottom of the tabs column

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  36. I tried to delete the Home-column, but that darned thing is always coming back. It seems I will have to delete this iGoogle page forever now. No thanks to the Google team...

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  37. I read through a lot of these comments and I'm yet to see one person who likes the new layout. I'm with everyone else, I HATE it. Please make it optional!! Awful, awful rounded corners, and it looks cramped...I treasure my screen space, love little icons and thin borders. I'm actually considering changing my homepage - purely because this one is so badly designed.

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  38. It is unbelieveable to me that Google would take away something you love,and ( told friends to add it)and shove something you hate down your throught. I have yet to see one faverable comment. Don't Google read these? Is there any way to get this changed back short of deleting Google alltoghter???

    Gil

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  39. This sucks donkeys! How can I undo the "canvas view"? This is what you get with Beta-Mail... Just wait till Google screws up you Word files!

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  40. I am Sad to say that I have been assimilated. After resisting as long as possible, I have grown used to this view.

    Please be gentle in the future Mighty Google Overlord

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  41. Give us back our tabs on top. This layout is terrible. I don't need an index on the side.

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  42. I complained to their suggestion box about this a month ago. This was their response:

    Thank you for your note. We're currently experimenting with several new iGoogle features, including a new view for gadgets like the Gmail gadget, and your iGoogle account has been randomly selected to experience them. If you'd like to share additional feedback about the new features, I encourage you to click the "Learn more" link near the top of the page, then click "take our survey" at the top of our Help Center article.

    I've yet to find anyone who wants this "feature".

    Temporarily at least, you can get the old version by appending &hl=all to the URL parameters, as in http://www.google.com/ig?&hl=all

    Only problem is, you also lose the custom title image for holidays.

    I like the integration of having a single Google Account, and don't want to have to create an account on a homepage service like netvibes just to load the weather and my Google content.

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  43. If you use firefox, I wrote an addon which hides/unhides the left tabs.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10113
    It is currently in the sandbox (experimental area) of the site, but use it and leave a review. (Reviews help get it into the public space so that updates are automatic)

    Enjoy!

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  44. thank good, the canvas view can be switched off,
    thanks for that link ( www.google.com/ig?&hl=all )! the canvas view is crap!

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  45. I hate I hate it I hate It... please tell me how to fix and go back to my regular igoogle page. I'm too old to figure out new stuff. and also
    DITTO everything that Vincent (above) said!!!

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