Google has decided to offer its users a different element of customization by allowing them to select a theme for their Google Personalized Homepage. Prior to this, the only option was the typical Google logo on a white background.
You’ll have six different options for a theme including the beach, bus stop, city scape, sweet dreams, tea house, and seasonal scape. After selecting your option, it will ask you for your location because the themes will dramatically change to match your time of day and weather. I changed my location three different times to get an idea of what the same theme looks like at different times. Below is the beach theme showing sunrise, day time, and night time.
Also, keep your eye out for “Easter Eggs” that will appear at certain times, and that will open up with a click. According to the AP, “they will delight high-tech geeks with a sense of humor.” If you don’t have a personalized homepage, you can set one up at www.google.com/ig.
On the same topic, last week Google added a Google Talk Gadget specifically designed for your Personalized homepage that enables you to chat with your friends and see who is online. While it is a nice addition, the biggest complaint I’ve heard so far is that there’s no way to notify you when there’s a new message if you’ve already started a conversation, but you’re not on the Google Personalized Homepage.
For example, I started a conversation and then opened a new tab in Firefox to browse the web. When I received a new message from the conversation that I had already started, there was no indication to let me know to go back like blinking text or sound. Hopefully this is something that Google can change, because I know I’m not the only one who’s had issues with it.
Thanks for the tip Eric, Nimrodguy, and CoryC!