Google announced that they were getting rid of their popular iGoogle service. Google used this since 2005 as an alternative home page and a bit of an answer to Yahoo!'s cluttered portal interface. You could use the standard Google minimalist home page for search queries, or you could use iGoogle and add "gadgets" to get mini-apps and feeds from various data sources. Fans loved the ability to stream different sources and use third-party apps.
First off, don't panic. You've got until November of 2013 to wean yourself off of the service. As I'm writing this, that's close to a year and a half. That's practically a decade in Internet years. By that time, we may all have Google Glasses or shiny new tablets, and we we'll think of iGoogle as a quaint relic of the days when we all used laptops. Well, maybe not. But it is a very long warning and more than enough time for us to develop alternative browsing habits.
Why Did They Do It?
Google's answer, "We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for something like iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding down iGoogle on November 1, 2013, giving you a full 16 months to adjust or easily export your iGoogle data."
Basically, the Yahoo! model of Internet portal services is slowly going away. Google's efforts to focus on "fewer arrows, more wood" mean that they'll remove things that take you away from what they see as core services. You can get the gadget experience from apps and widgets on your Android devices, and you can quickly get to your Web apps through the Chrome browser (and, of course, Chromebooks.)
It makes a lot of sense from a business perspective to focus app developers on Chrome and Android apps instead of iGoogle apps, even if it's not a transition all iGoogle users make gladly. Since there's such a long lead time, we may even see upgrades to Google+ that add some of the widget/gadget features of iGoogle into Google+.
What Can You Do?
Well, you could switch to Yahoo! if you really want that experience. If you're using third-party gadgets that store data, like calorie counters, to do lists, and scratch pads, you're at the mercy of the developer. Hopefully they'll figure out a way to export your data. They've got plenty of warning, and good developers will figure out a way to make this happen, especially if they're transitioning to a new platform.
If you're using a gadget developed by Google, it generally ties to an existing Google product, and it will continue to do so. No need to figure out any fancy way to get your document information into Google Drive. It's already there.
If you're using the Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop computer, you can add Chrome apps and extensions, but these are mainly bookmarks and add-ons. They don't have the same mini-app presence of a gadget. Google may change that by the time November of 2013 rolls around. You can change your theme on Chrome, but I doubt that's a huge comfort to anyone who really wanted to use iGoogle as a stream of multiple information sources. There's always Yahoo.