iGoogle Gets Sandbox, Goes Social - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
4/22/2008
11:00 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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iGoogle Gets Sandbox, Goes Social

Google has released yet more tools for developers. This time, it is offering what it calls a sandbox in which developers can play with and build widgets for Google's iGoogle user home page. That includes support for social network applications using the OpenSocial API. Is iGoogle going to be the next Facebook?

Google has released yet more tools for developers. This time, it is offering what it calls a sandbox in which developers can play with and build widgets for Google's iGoogle user home page. That includes support for social network applications using the OpenSocial API. Is iGoogle going to be the next Facebook?Probably not. But iGoogle is set to be a much more usable tool -- especially for social network users -- if Google's developers have anything to say about it.

According to Google, "iGoogle's new features will include left navigation, a maximized or 'canvas view' option for gadgets, and social features for gadgets using the OpenSocial APIs. These social features for gadgets will include a friends list and activities displayed through a special updates gadget. The features and functionalities as they appear in the sandbox are meant for development purposes only, and may not reflect the end consumer experience. By building more powerful and interactive gadgets for iGoogle, developers will have an opportunity to share their gadgets with the tens of millions of iGoogle users."

Inclusion of the Open Social API is perhaps the most exciting part of these new developer tools. It will allow any gadget that supports Open Social, such as MySpace or Friendster, to run on the iGoogle Web site. This means that users of iGoogle, which, according to Google, number in the tens of millions, will be able to interact more with their existing social networks.

Google also is offering up an updated developer Web site, which guides developers through building and distributing gadgets to iGoogle's growing audience. There is the obligatory YouTube video that provides visual details on just how the sandbox will work.

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