10 Useful Google Tools



iGoogle acts as a portal to other Web sites.
iGoogle acts as a portal to other Web sites.
Copyright 2008 HowStuffWorks

­You probably have a small number of Web sites or applications that you use more than others. What if you had a way to collect those Web sites so that you could go to a single location on the Web to access all of them at once? That's the concept behind iGoogle, a free aggregator or portal Web service.

The iGoogle service allows users to select multiple applications and news feeds from across the Internet. Each user can customize his or her own iGoogle page. For example, sports fans can add applications that grab the latest scores and statistics of their favorite teams from the Internet and display them in a dedicated window on the iGoogle page.

Google lets users organize their own iGoogle pages using a set of simple tools. One of those tools is a series of tabs at the top of the iGoogle page. Account holders can create tabs for specific categories of applications or news feeds. This makes it easier for users to find the information they want when they want it. Once the user sets up his or her iGoogle site, the application does the rest of the work.

While you can choose to include Google apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs in your iGoogle page, you aren't limited to Google applications. Third party developers have created iGoogle applications that let you access lots of different Web-based programs. With the right application installed in iGoogle, you can access things like:

The final Google product we'll look at is possibly the most controversial one. That's because it's an attempt to organize medical documents. Find out more about Google Health in the next section.