Users love it when products and services from one company are nicely integrated with one another. It helps to keep users from bouncing around services. Companies love it because it's a way to lock users in, while gaining their trust. Nevertheless, Google has me hooked on yet another product from their labs: iGoogle. While I may be late to joining the RSS dashboard game, here's a look at a few of iGoogle's new features that users will enjoy.

Gmail Integration

If you're using the Gmail widget in iGoogle, you can now maximize the widget box and get a full view of your Gmail account. Users can star messages, compose new eamils, and more. The only downside to this widget is that there is no access to your labels.

Google Reader Integration

Google Reader integration works a little differently from the Gmail integration. For feeds that you subscribe to in Google Reader, but also display in iGoogle as a separate widget, you can maximize the widget box for Google Reader style viewing. In this view you can also check your other feeds in Google Reader. This view seems to be only available for RSS subscriptions in both Google Reader and iGoogle.

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You can now talk to your friends in iGoogle with the Gchat sidebar widget. Just be careful when refreshing the page because you may lose your ongoing conversations. Also, Firefox and Safari users will not have this feature at the moment. The chat widget will only display in Internet Explorer.

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Preview the New iGoogle

To preview the new iGoogle simply head to the iGoogle homepage and paste the following in the address bar:


To revert back to the previous iGoogle simply paste the following:


This is is by far one of the best integrations I've seen from Google and it looks as if it'll only get better as time goes on. I'd love to see the same integration style applied to other Google services such as Google Analytics and Picasa Photo Albums. For now, these new features and integrations have pulled me in as a new fan of iGoogle.