Bing! Google adds customizable backgrounds to their homepage

Google release a new option on its homepage, customizable user backgrounds.  The added feature has only gone live in a few countries, starting with United States, and will continue to roll out in more countries in the coming days.

The new feature on Google allows users to add their own background (image must be 800 x 600 or larger), and can upload an assortment of file extensions from .jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .gif, .psd (Photoshop), .png, .tga, and selected RAW formats.

You can also select photos from My Picasa web photos, public gallery and editor's picks (as selected by Google).

The backgrounds do require you to login to Google.com, and are transferable across computers and browsers.  Uploaded images are stored on Google's server and can be used on multiple platforms.

Currently, only Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 7 & 8 (Windows XP, Vista and 7), Firefox 3.x (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Mac OS X) and Safari (Mac OS X) are supported.

To set your background, click on the link in the bottom left hand-corner of your screen “Change background image.”  If the link is not available in your country yet, click on “Go to Google.com” under the search bar to adjust your background.

google_backgrounds2

Thanks to marulez for the news tip!

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<- Still surprised many people go to the home page of search engines when every browser has a search bar or smart bar for searching from your favorite engines or multiple engines at once even.

The novelty of this stuff wears off and no-one cares about it anymore. I don't know about other people, but my search engine is used for one thing: searching. Being able to mess around with background images and the like seems entirely pointless to me inspite of who came up with it.

Why do people care about this ? Right now google is the best search engine for searching but i would like to see a few features from bing in it. Why not have the best of both world's, I don't care if they copy all of bing, whatever makes it better go ahead I don't care I just want the best search engine possible.

Gaffney said,
Why do people care about this ? Right now google is the best search engine for searching but i would like to see a few features from bing in it. Why not have the best of both world's, I don't care if they copy all of bing, whatever makes it better go ahead I don't care I just want the best search engine possible.

Lol, I'd rather have it vice versa. I'd like to see Bing take some more search verticals from Google and maybe even better algorithms for even more accurate results. Just not the same privacy policy as Google's

I still like the fact that on Bing you can roll your mouse over areas of the photo and learn something about it, and it changes all the time so you're always learning something new.

mentas said,
Google Search? Bing copy
Google Android? very ugly and failed iPhone copy

Have you used either of those products, or are you just looking at screenshots?

mentas said,
Google Search? Bing copy
Google Android? very ugly and failed iPhone copy

Android failed? and how exactly is it an iPhone copy?

also, why do people even go to the homepage of a search engine? doesn't every browser have a built-in search bar?

It's just a background image though. Bing one-up's that by having 4 tidbits of knowledge about whatever image they are showing, and they've chosen pretty cool locale's on the day's I went to the Bing front-page.

+ 2 for Microsoft

Looks better than I thought it would. What Google has done here is nothing like what Bing does. Definitely not a ripoff, IMO.

Nope, good try but not what google needs. This just makes them look like Microsoft-wanna-bes. Turn this feature off, you already have it in the igoogle customized home page...

LOL, this is the best evidence that the guys from Google are a bunch of liers. (Apart from the WLAN thingy ofc)
I remember when Bing came out with the background feature there was a press release that "nobody needed a search engine that wasted your browsers resources like bing does" - Evidently they only released that statement to bash bing and now realized that copying is easier than following their own lame "keep it extremely simple and don't even attempt to innovate" strategy.

I guess some will like it, but I'll stick to the minimal default Google interface, which is one reason why I love Google.

lcg said,
I guess some will like it, but I'll stick to the minimal default Google interface, which is one reason why I love Google.

+1 not really to fussed on the links up top and below the search either I should write an extension to remove them

This almost feels a bit petty to me... I don't see that it really adds anything to the core functionality (which I thought was one of Google's main traits - focus on the core) and yet seems to simply be a rip of an MS feature...

njlouch said,
This almost feels a bit petty to me... I don't see that it really adds anything to the core functionality (which I thought was one of Google's main traits - focus on the core) and yet seems to simply be a rip of an MS feature...

Google already allowed customisation with iGoogle, in all fairness.

Mike Brown said,

Google already allowed customisation with iGoogle, in all fairness.

Ah fair play. In all honesty, a search engine's front page is on screen for all of a few seconds for me, so never really looked.

firewire1290 said,
The sad thing is that you need to sign in (first) than only the pic loads which is lame i guess. huh

It pretty much is a half-assed version of what Bings been doing.

KaneHusky said,
I'll stick with the clean and simple white background, thanks I use the plain iGoogle anyway
'
sorry did you just say iGoogle? wtf? i hope that was typo.

treemonster said,
'
sorry did you just say iGoogle? wtf? i hope that was typo.

LOL fail.

iGoogle is the custom google homepage... has been around for years!

I dunno, maybe it's me. While I like the fact that Bing gives you a new image (And information about it) each day, because I find it interesting; just setting your own custom background seems silly to me personally...

Tech Star said,
If Google allows this, Neowin should allow you to use your own Scenes.

I know it was a joke, but I think a lot more people know about Google than Neowin, so there's less chance of associating Google with, say, NSFW material, than Neowin

Blaze said,
The Google logo turns all white, would really want the standard logo rather than that.

It would not look right if the background was the same color as one of the letters.

I always use google toolbar builtin firefox. so i never got to open google.com homepage. so i guess it is hopeless for me. But it looks good option. I liked bing for this option.

I notice when you do this, it changes the Google logo to a white version, instead of the normal logo/doodle of the day. This is precisely why I don't use iGoogle - I hate missing out on the Doodles.

Joey H said,
I notice when you do this, it changes the Google logo to a white version, instead of the normal logo/doodle of the day. This is precisely why I don't use iGoogle - I hate missing out on the Doodles.

It will display four orbs in the upper right corner with the Google colors and when you hover over it, says "click to see today's doodle." Clicking it takes you to the normal homepage with the white background.

Joey H said,
This is precisely why I don't use iGoogle - I hate missing out on the Doodles.

Last time I looked at my iGoogle page (about 15 seconds ago) it was diplaying the same logo as the main page; Dennis Gabor's 110th birthday.

geoken said,

Last time I looked at my iGoogle page (about 15 seconds ago) it was diplaying the same logo as the main page; Dennis Gabor's 110th birthday.

What theme are you using? Every theme I've tried (including classic) just shows the iGoogle logo instead.

Joey H said,

What theme are you using? Every theme I've tried (including classic) just shows the iGoogle logo instead.

Its the default Google theme. I too like my Doodles