Anatomy of an iGoogle Gadget

Important: iGoogle will be retired on November 1, 2013. We are no longer accepting new gadget submissions, but you can still update your previously submitted gadgets.

An iGoogle gadget is comprised of several parts, all of which combine to form a structured user experience. As you develop your gadget, we recommend this guide as both a checklist of components which should be utilized, as well as a means to understand the relationship between these components:

  1. Home View
  2. Canvas View
  3. Left Navigation
  4. Updates
  5. Chat
  6. Gadget directory
  7. About page
  8. Gadget installation screen
  9. Gadget developer sandbox
  10. Add buttons

Home View

The gadget's home view shows content and notifications that are most interesting to users. It’s a good place for summarizing content for the user, displaying updates from friends, and providing a quick way to complete simple tasks.

  • Private page for the iGoogle user.
  • Gadgets should be flexible in width to accommodate various screen resolutions and maximize space efficiency. Note that recommended minimum width is 260 px, based on a 1024x768 resolution.
  • Height can vary. Shorter gadgets that open into a more robust canvas view tend to be more popular because users sacrifice less space for other gadgets.
  • Users can access a gadget’s settings, remove a gadget, or go to canvas view by clicking buttons in a gadget's title bar.

Canvas View

The gadget’s canvas view provides more space to allow for richer content and greater functionality. Take advantage of this view to display richer content, show users what their friends are doing, and complete complex tasks.

  • Private page for the iGoogle user, like home view.
  • Gadgets should be flexible in width to accommodate various screen resolutions and maximize space efficiency.
  • Recommended minimum width: 800 px (based on a 1024x768 resolution).
  • Height can vary. Unlike home view, in canvas view only one gadget is being shown so developers can take advantage of the additional space.
  • Gadgets without a canvas view will continue to function. However, we encourage developers to add this ability to their existing gadgets.
  • See the FAQ for information on monetization.

Left Navigation

Each gadget's title will appear in the left navigation, linking to the gadget's canvas view.

  • The left navigation lists all tabs and gadgets on a user's page.
  • Users can access any gadget from anywhere in the product.


Using the OpenSocial APIs, you can post updates to the updates feed. Users will be able to see updates generated from their friends' gadgets, encouraging content sharing.

  • Gadgets are limited to 3 updates per user, per app, per day.
  • See the FAQ for more details.


iGoogle users can communicate in real-time with contacts from products like Gmail and Google Talk.

  • Online and offline contacts visible in left navigation.
  • Chat windows open along bottom edge of browser, from right to left.

Gadget Directory

The iGoogle gadget directory provides a listing of all gadgets. Users can sort, narrow by category, and search for gadgets.

  • Gadgets added from the directory are displayed on the user's iGoogle page and added to the left navigation.
  • Include a thumbnail (120 px wide by 60 px high) and detailed metadata to make a gadget more attractive and easier to find.

About Page

The iGoogle gadget directory includes detailed pages for gadgets. The about page includes ratings and comments from users as well as recommended gadgets.

  • Include a screenshot (280 px wide by the gadget's natural height) and detailed metadata to make the gadget more attractive and easier to find.
  • Check the about page to read the latest comments from users about your gadget.

Gadget Installation Screen

Social gadgets will have an installation screen so that users can grant permissions to the gadget. Stay tuned for details.

Gadget Developer Sandbox

If you're ready to get started, you can build and test your gadgets, canvas pages, and OpenSocial APIs in the developer sandbox. Sign up here.

Add Buttons

Place an "Add to Google" button on your websites to help your users find your gadget. Offer your audience another place to consume your content and drive more traffic.