Netvibes may be my iGoogle replacement of choice as of now. It seems to be fairly flexible and also importing the iGoogle feeds to Netvibes was a breeze. Appearently Netvibes requires the import file to be in an OPML format which the iGoogle export does not natively support, but luckily there have been made tools that converts your iGoogle feeds into OPML format.
Netvibes interface also looks fairly similar to iGoogle and you can also change the theme if you fancy that.
There are though quite a few shortcomings I’ve noticed in comparison with iGoogle:
- IMPORTANT – Security issue:
Netvibes does not use the HTTPS protocol at ANY time even during log in (and I guess also not during registration). Note: thanks to SaveiGoogle for pointing out that you can actually force using https by manually typing the protocol in the address field. Thus ALL the information you send to netvibes are sent in cleartext including your username and password. It may not be a total disaster depending on the information you’ve entered in Netvibes and what kind of access you have (do you have a premium account? Will the intruder have access to personal information and so on). But it might be a disaster if you use the same password over multiple services therefore I highly recommend that you use an unique password for your Netvibes account (and also for all your other services)
- Cannot increase font size in feeds (not sure if you can do this in iGoogle but I really want a slightly bigger font for the Netvibes feeds anyway)
- Cannot disable the “post date” feature for all feeds, you must disable it manually for every individual feed (I gave up and just include the post dates)
- iPhone mobile version does not have an option to show the feed items without you having to explicitally open each individual feed
You must open each feed individually to see new items
- The “remember what I’ve read” visual effect doesn’t take into account articles you’ve actually read without going through Netvibes like in iGoogle (normally links that have been visited are purple). Note this may be a browser (firefox) issue / feature
- Refresh function doesn’t seem to work
- Feeds doesn’t seem to be up-to-date at live time, Netvibes seem to have implemented caching and use a relatively long refresh time. Thus if you refresh the page and there’s a new item in a feed it might not show immediately
I also tested Protopage as it was mentioned as an iGoogle replacement. It’s slightly more akward looking but appearently you can customize the look. I haven’t looked too much into that feature though.
My biggest turnoff with Protopage is that importing an OPML file into your dashboard is a major pain in the ass. You actually have to drag every single feed into your tabs (which you also have to manually create). Ehr, no thanks.
- IMPORTANT – Security issue: Does not use HTTPS at any time (same as Netvibes, I recommend you read the corresponding section if you plan on opening an account)
- You have to manually drag all of the imported feeds from an OPML file to each of your tabs (which you also have to manually create). Gamebreaker for me – I can’t be arsed doing this
- Creates default widgets when you sign up and forces you to manually delete all of them as you can’t delete tabs before every single widget is deleted – LOL