iGoogle gets a new look

Updated version of iGoogle features “canvas view”

Google has launched new Australian tools for iGoogle, Google’s personalised homepage, giving users the opportunity to stay abreast of petrol prices and the latest sport results.

News Corp’s News Digital Media will now distribute their news, business and sport headlines via new gadgets and child care search engine CareforKids.com.au has created a gadget to search for child care vacancies and information.

Google boasts that these gadgets will make it easier for Australians to create a homepage unique to their needs and interests.

The gadgets are mini applications and they coincide with the rollout of an updated version of iGoogle for Australia.

Head of products for Google Australia, Rohit Dhawan, says iGoogle has been one of the search engine giant’s fastest growing products.

“Hundreds of thousands of Australians are accessing quality content from around the web directly from their iGoogle page," he said.

The updated version of iGoogle features “canvas view”, whereby homepage gadgets can be expanded to allow for additional content.

"For local developers and content owners, this updated version of iGoogle with canvas view allows more possibilities for building rich, compelling gadgets,” Dhawan said.

In the press release, Google announced that more than half a million Australians get a feed from The Australian sport section onto their iGoogle homepage and approximately 66,000 get the ABC News feed.

This content aggregation has been a point of contention with media conglomerates, who are threatening to charge Google for accessing their content, and during a recent interview, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company would not share any revenue with online media outlets.

However, with the "canvas view" feature, iGoogle makes it possible for local content owners to advertise and obtain revenue from its content, as each gadget now has its own individual page for expanded viewing.

There are currently 60,000 gadgets and 200,000 feeds in Google’s public directory for users to add to their iGoogle homepage.

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