Backstitch, a home page to replace iGoogle: Review & Features
If you’re one of those people who continue to use iGoogle homepage, you should be aware that this Google service will be closed on November 1, 2013. It is more than a year, but it’s never too early to get to know alternatives.
Backstitch is a web service recently launched in beta-open-that lets you see the status updates on social networks, photo sharing or the latest headlines in one place.
Sounds like iGoogle, backstitch interface-English-user composes to taste, based widgets. Although this is only the main view to entering the service whose contents are distributed in different areas to be discussed later. Let’s start first by backstitch capabilities.
Backstitch integrates with Facebook (status updates, photos and shared items), Twitter (status updates and photo sharing), LinkedIn (status updates and shared items) and Instagram (photos, photo sharing and photo location), addition to Tumblr, Appdotnet, Instapaper and Readability. Thus, each piece of information is shown in the respective box.
And the same can be done with news services like Yahoo! News, CNN, New York Times, TechCrunch, Marshable, Engadget … Of course, I could not miss the option to add their own news sources via RSS. In fact, backstitch also integrates with Google Reader.
Again, the configuration and use of each widget is modeled to iGoogle, though scarce. Two details in this regard: the news can be filtered by tags, and the Twitter widget can be configured to view and / or block specific user’s updates.
In the side panel, the icon Catalog opens the possibility of new content, to everyone backstitch automatically integrates, are social networks and news or shopping services like Groupon, Tanga, Threadless and Woot, showing promotions (we assume that there is the business model of Backstitch).
Ending its interface, Backstitch main view, which called Patterns (patterns) is enhanced Threads (items), where the developments are classified as news, images and updates on social networks in a different format, more visual and detailed.
As for the general configuration options backstitch, are rather nil: change the password and control the services are enabled.
In short, any user of iGoogle will feel comfortable in Backstitch, but probably will miss features like visual themes, integrated chat or widgets like Gmail or any other. But backstitch is a service under development, so things might improve in the future. iGoogle is going in peace and now it will be the turn of Backstitch.