Google Ruins Its iPhone Home PageGoogle Ruins Its iPhone Home Page
Google redesigned the Google home page presented to iPhone users and now it is totally useless. Before, it was the general mobile version of the site, which showed my headlines, weather, Gmail and other content all in a quick glance. Now it is a simple search box and I have to actively choose to view my content. Why did Google make it more difficult to use?
December 5, 2007
Google redesigned the Google home page presented to iPhone users and now it is totally useless. Before, it was the general mobile version of the site, which showed my headlines, weather, Gmail and other content all in a quick glance. Now it is a simple search box and I have to actively choose to view my content. Why did Google make it more difficult to use?To take the basic sentiment I read in an Engadget piece, so much for the "real Internet" on the iPhone. More and more companies are beginning to design versions of their sites that have versions optimized for the iPhone. I never thought Google would take that route, but it has.
The old version of the Google home page -- or iGoogle Mobile, if you will -- was just right. It was fully customizable and let users choose from a wealth of news feeds for the latest headlines, movie times, weather reports, stocks, and so on. For those that wanted a brief rundown on what was going on in the world and in your own neighborhood, it fit the bill. Now it doesn't. At all. The new version of the Google home page for the iPhone has a large search box smack in the middle of the page and tabs across the top to access different services. Those tabs are Home, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and More. Below them are some more selections for signing in and changing search preferences. The Home screen is just the search box. I could not find any way to customize this page or add in the content that I was used to seeing here. The Gmail tab obviously brings you into the Web version of your Gmail. The Calendar tab shows you the upcoming events in your calendar. The Reader tab shows you all your RSS feeds (assuming you have any and actually use Google's Reader). The More tab brings you to a basic menu of other Google mobile services, such as Documents, Google-411, Blogger, etc. It is under this More tab that you have access to news. And unfortunately, it is no longer the customized news you had picked out, but just the generic Google news stories of the day. If you ask me, Google is trying to make its home page more smartphone like. Quick access to calendar and e-mail accounts are buttons or functions you'd see on smartphones. It is less a jumble of user-picked content and more of an organized way to reach specific information. The reason I am complaining is because it took something that I had come to rely on, and changed it to something that is less useful to me. Will others love it? I am sure they will. My experience has been altered for the worse.
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