Getting Out of the iGoogle Sandbox

UPDATE: 10/16/09
The newest version of iGoogle is now out of the sandbox! Ugh! Just have to live with it. At least I’m not the only one complaining. Problem is no one is listening at Google.
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Like many of you, I personalized my Google homepage with lots of gadgets. I use it daily for bookmarks, blog feeds, sticky notes, etc. Tabs go across the page to further lend a sense of control! Earlier this year, Google talked about changing this feature and has been ‘rolling out’ beta versions. Today I was minding my own business when Google decided to change ‘MY’ (emphasis on my) home page without telling me.

It happened just as I was trying a different version of the Gmail preview gadget. I guess they said, here’s a new kid on the block willing to play with us. Suddenly I was thrown into the “Google Developer’s sand box” — I didn’t notice that little tag line in my (MY) header until much later. So, ‘boom’ my entire homepage was transformed! A bit dazed, I tried to figure out what happened and how to get out of the situation.

One of the main differences between the current and beta is that the tabs run down the left-hand side of the page. There’s a plus/minus icon to expand the list of gadgets. This navigation leaves less space for your wide sticky notes, but I was willing to play. Unfortunately, I could not move gadgets from one tab to another. It just so happens I wanted to move all of my scattered bookmarks onto a new tab! Good timing.

Finally after a frantic (Google) search I found a site for ‘Unofficial news and tips about Google‘ with a reader’s complaint which matched my sentiments: ” And by the way google. Thanks for letting me know I had been switched to a beta version of iGoogle. (NOT!). I spent hours trying to fix this thinking my wife or I did something wrong.” Not only that, but people have been complaining about this approach and the actual interface for quite some time.

On the same page someone gave a solution to get back to the ‘current’ version, which I did to move my bookmarks. Just paste this code directly into the address bar while you have the homepage open:
javascript:_dlsetp(‘v2=0’);

If you feel adventurous, then you can go back to the beta version:
javascript:_dlsetp(‘v2=1’);

I do plan to visit the Google’s sandbox on my own terms after the interface is fixed!

(photo: Gaggu by Ansik )


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