Google’s iGoogle Home Page Has New Themes

Google’s come a long way from its famously sparse search page. Oh sure,
the spartan look is still the default on Google’s default search page, but
the company’s iGoogle personalized home page keeps getting more visual.

Today, for example, Google announced further graphical extensions with the
release of the iGoogle Themes API . With the API, developers can now create their own theme or background art for an iGoogle page.

When it was launched last
March, Google limited themes to a few it offered at the site. Now, borrowing
a page from its Google Gadgets directory, Google is offering a Themes
directory for users to post their work and share with others.

As part of today’s launch Google posted four very different custom themes from
four designers.

“Creating a theme is very simple; an XML file points to the image and
there’s support for dynamic themes that relate to the current time and
geographic location,” Jessica Ewing, senior product manager at Google, told “This is all about helping iGoogle users better
connect with their page. There’s a certain amount we can do, but by no means
can we cover the unique artistic desires of all users.”

Ewing said iGoogle now has tens of millions of users worldwide. Certain
elements of a Theme can’t be changed, such as inclusion of the iGoogle logo.
Ewing said Google takes fair use issues into account, but
otherwise doesn’t “editorialize” when approving Themes for the directory.

Also, as with Gadgets, the Themes directory will soon include profile pages
for developers available for users to see.

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