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Google Mobile Homepage updates: Faster accessing, iGoogle gets easier to use

Google Mobile Team has updated “mobile homepage” to allow for a quicker load time, with faster access to the information you need while on the go.

“When you navigate to google.com in your browser, we cache the homepage on your phone. If you bookmark this homepage, then returning to Google using the bookmark is almost instantaneous. Whether you come to Google by browser or through our new search plug-in, starting your search is now quicker and simpler than ever before.”

Google has also improved mobile iGoogle interface that provides access to mobile-compatible gadgets. They’ve linked iGoogle gadgets directly from the new mobile home page and made it easier to set up mobile iGoogle page from the desktop. By going to your iGoogle settings page on a computer, you can choose and rearrange your favorite gadgets for your phone. For example, if weather and news are the most important items to you when on the go, you can drag and drop these gadgets to the top of your page. In addition, you can now read article summaries by clicking on the “More” option on any RSS gadget.

Since the homepage is now static and doesn’t display personalized content, it can be cached indefinitely. Google chose to politely ask your browser to cache it for 1,209,600 seconds = 14 days.

But Google still wants to see how many people visit the mobile homepage and this is impossible if all the content is cached. That’s why, the last element from the homepage is a tracking pixel, a 1×1 GIF image: http://www.google.com/m/ping?source=magmahome.

You can watch this video, showing your the new search and iGoogle for mobile from opposite sides of the continent by James Watts, Software Engineer and Steve Cheng. Or just go to iGoogle to sign in and get started. And once your page is set up, remember to bookmark iGoogle on your phone for fast access to all your content. Note that these improvements are available on all non-iPhone devices, as iPhone users have alternative Google search and iGoogle offerings.

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