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What's New on AOL

We hope you enjoy your time spent on AOL.ca. If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below.

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



Sign in to Save

There are lots of things you can do to personalize your AOL.ca homepage. For instance, you can apply a special theme and add your favourite sites to My Links. In the past, we've saved settings like this on your computer in a browser cookie. This method works fine for most, but there is always the chance that this information can be cleared from your computer and wipe away any personalized settings.

To reduce the risk of this happening, all of your settings will now be tied to your AOL/AIM screen name when you sign in to the page. This means that your preferences will follow you to any computer you use to sign in. You'll get your page just the way you like it whether you are at work, home, on the go -- anywhere!

To learn more, be sure to check out our FAQs.

Here are some examples of things you can personalize on your homepage:
- Themes
- My Links
- My Stuff
- News Feeds, RSS Browser

Signing in on AOL.ca is easy! Just look for the "Sign In" link available next to Search at the top right of the page:

You can also sign in via the links provided in customizable areas as shown below:

If you haven't yet customized anything on AOL.ca, we recommend signing in first to ensure that everything is applied to your screen name. And if you have already customized parts of your homepage, we will save your preferences to your screen name the first time you sign in. After that, you will want to sign in before you make additional updates in order for them to be saved properly.

We hope you enjoy the security and convenience of having your settings tied to your screen name!



Mail Preview - Your Accounts in One Place

We are introducing the ability to preview your emails from other providers like Gmail and Yahoo! in addition to AOL Mail. You may, like many people, have multiple e-mail accounts with different providers. We want to make it easy for you to preview e-mail from other providers like Gmail and Yahoo! directly on AOL.ca. Why shouldn't you be able to preview all your accounts in one place?!

You'll find it in the "My Stuff" area in the top right corner of the homepage.

If you haven't used mail preview before, here's more information to get you started. First, you need to set up an account for each mail provider before you can preview your inbox. Just mouse-over the Yahoo! or Gmail preview panels to get started on the set-up process.

Here's a a quick walk-through of how they work:

Yahoo!
To add a Yahoo! account to your mail preview, simply place your mouse over the Y! icon. The panel will expand and you'll find a button prompting you to sign-in. You'll also see a checkbox asking if you want us to remember your info on recurring sessions -- select this if you'd like to keep yourself logged in.

Once you click this button, a Yahoo! sign in screen will be loaded in the same browser window where you will enter your current Yahoo! username and password. Yahoo! will display their Terms of Service -- essentially confirming that you are who you say you are and that Yahoo! can deliver email previews to the Yahoo! panel on your AOL.ca homepage -- pretty standard stuff.

Click "I Agree" and your AOL.ca homepage will be reloaded with your new mail displayed in the Yahoo! preview panel. You'll continue to get your Yahoo! Mail preview on subsequent visits to AOL.ca until you log out.

Gmail
To add a Gmail account to your mail preview, simply mouse-over the Gmail icon. The panel will expand and you'll find a button prompting you to sign-in.

Once you click this button, a Gmail sign in screen will be loaded in the same browser window where you will enter your current Google account username and password. On the next screen, Gmail will require you to grant access to AOL in order for your mail previews to be delivered there.

Like with Yahoo!, if you choose to select the "Remember me on this computer" option, you will get your Gmail preview on subsequent visits to AOL.ca until you log out.

Hotmail
Hotmail does not support mail preview on other Web sites, so we created a panel that provides you with one-click access to the Hotmail application. You can even make it one of the four preview panels in your "My Stuff" area.

To add Hotmail, just click on the "Edit" button in the top right of "My Stuff" and select Hotmail from the edit dropdown in the position that you want it to appear.


That pretty much covers mail preview. We hope this feature saves you time and makes your life a little easier.

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



Themes - Express Yourself With One Click

Details on the Zen Theme:

To apply Zen to your page, click on the white square located in the second position of the colour strip in the upper right-hand corner as seen below.

Here's what Zen looks like when added:

To see additional themes, click on the "More" link next to the colour strip in the upper right:

We're introducing a brand-new design to compliment the new feature set. One of our primary goals with this redesign is to give you more options and control over your experience. So in the spirit of giving you options, we've got a new set of design themes from which you can choose!

To make one of these themes your own, just go to the chooser at the top right and click on the theme square that you like best. Your homepage will refresh with the theme of your choice. Also, you can click on the "More" link in order to see even more stylish themes you can apply on your page. The last theme you select will get saved as your theme.

How We Store Your Themes

When you make changes to your page, like changing your theme, we store those choices in a secure "cookie" on the computer that you are using. A cookie is a file that stores information you enter on a Web page, to save you time later. We use cookies on the AOL.ca homepage so that you don't have to sign in or be required to have an AOL screen name to use and save your personalization options. However, you should know that deleting your browser cookies or private data will wipe out any changes you've made to your homepage, including any theme you have chosen. Remember, the best way to save and protect your personalization choices is to use the "Sign in to Save" feature. Learn more..

We hope you enjoy the new themes and that they make you feel more at home on your homepage.

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



My Stuff - Mail Preview and More

The "My Stuff" area features direct access to your e-mail and other information that's most important to you in one place, almost like a mini-dashboard. We've taken the preview panel experience from the "classic" AOL.ca homepage that we know is already very popular and made it easier for you to edit and browse through all preview panel options.

The preview panels featured in "My Stuff" function the same as before. You can "expand" a preview panel by rolling your mouse over any of the four tabs. Clicking on any of the four tabs loaded on your homepage or in the carousel will launch the appropriate feature or site.

We've also made it easier for you to choose the four preview panels you want to see on your homepage. Just click on the "Edit" button in the top right corner of the module to open the customization options window.

You can update any of the four preview panels you want by clicking the "Edit" below each preview panel and selecting the feature you want.

For those of you who miss having Radio as one of your four panels, now's your chance to add it back.

Just click on the preview panel tab you want to replace and select "Radio" from the Edit drop-down menu.

Once you're finished, click "Save" and it will update your homepage with these new selections and deliver them to you on every visit to AOL.ca.

You can also browse the entire line-up of preview panels. Just click on the arrows to the left and right of the panels and scroll through the current options – things like Weather, TMZ, eBay, Finance, Games, and more.

How We Store Your My Stuff Choices

When you make changes to your page, like changing your My Stuff line-up, we store those choices in a secure "cookie" on the computer that you are using. A cookie is, basically, a file that stores information you enter on a Web page, to save you time later. We use cookies on the AOL.ca homepage so that you don't have to Sign In or be required to have an AOL screen name to use and save your personalization options. However, deleting your browser cookies or private data will wipe out any changes you've made to your homepage. Remember, the best way to save and protect your personalization choices is to use the "Sign in to Save" feature. Learn more...

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



RSS Feed Browser - News From Other Sites On Your Homepage

Until now, your AOL.ca homepage only presented you with news headlines and articles from AOL sources. However, we know that many people get their news and information from a variety of sources by visiting many Web sites as part of their online routine. We're pleased to save you time by introducing this RSS Feed Browser, a new feature that delivers the top stories and updates from the Web sites you visit most, right to your AOL.ca homepage.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and provides an easy way to surface information (e.g. feeds) from your favorite sources directly to your homepage. We've even started you off with a set of pre-populated categories and feeds to some of the more popular sites around the Web including The Wall Street Journal, CBS Sportsline, TMZ, People and Engadget to name a few. We wanted you to immediately see the benefit and value of having the RSS Feed Browser on your homepage.

To find the RSS Feed Browser, look for the "Feed Me" tab located just below the AOL Canada logo.



Clicking on the Feed Me tab will take you to a full-on RSS Feed Browser page as seen below:



Customizing Your RSS Feed Browser

Don't like the pre-populated categories and feed options? No worries, you can add your own set at any time. Let's say you're interested in planning a fun getaway and want to start looking for ideas. You can create a category called "Vacation Ideas" and start collecting deals and information right on your AOL.ca homepage.

To create a feed category, just click on the "Add" button in the upper-right corner of the Category pane and type in the category name (Vacation Ideas).

Click on the "Add Category" button and you should see it appear at the top of your "Category" list.

Next, add feeds to the sites you want to appear in your "Vacation Ideas" category. Adding a feed is just like adding a category. Click the "Add" button in the upper-right corner of the Feed pane and type in the site address (URL) or feed URL (if you know it) that you want to add – "Travel and Leisure" in this case. We'll search for any available feeds from the Web site you've entered and present you with the options to choose from. To select a feed, just check the box in front of the option(s) you want and click "Add Feed". That's it.

The "Travel and Leisure" article feed will now be delivered to your RSS Feed Browser every time you visit your AOL.ca homepage. This is a "rinse and repeat" process, so you can add as many categories and feeds as you like.

You can also edit categories and feeds at any time. Just roll over the category or feed you want to update to expose the pen or "edit" icon. Click on the pen to display the Edit screen where you want to update a category or feed information. You can even "Delete" options from your RSS Feed Browser.


An awesome new option is the "Expand" link you will see in the upper right corner. Click on it to get full-size images if the feed provider publishes photos. Here's what that view looks like:


Another piece of functionality that's kind of a hidden surprise is an additional expand option that allows you to span the whole page with a select feed's stories. To locate this option, hover your cursor between the "Feed" and "Stories" sections as seen below and a highlighted strip will appear with an arrow you can click to expand:


Click on the arrow to open the feed up to the full width of the page. Doing so will look like this:


Pretty cool, eh? If you want to go back to the normal view, simply hover your cursor to the left of the "Stories" section and another highlighted line will appear with a button to collapse it back to the normal width. And if you no longer want to view images with your feeds, you can click on the "List" link in the upper right of the page.

How We Store Your RSS Feed Browser Choices

When you make changes to your page, like adding feeds to your RSS Browser, we store those choices in a secure "cookie" on the computer that you are using. A cookie is, basically, a file that stores information you enter on a Web page, to save you time later. We use cookies on the AOL.ca homepage so that you don't have to Sign In or be required to have an AOL screen name to use and save your personalization options. However, deleting your browser cookies or private data will wipe out any changes you've made to your homepage. Remember, the best way to save and protect your personalization choices is to use the "Sign in to Save" feature. Learn more..

That pretty much covers the basic functionality of the RSS Feed Browser. We hope that you spend some time getting acquainted with the feature. Again, we believe it's a great tool that will make your online routine more efficient and save you time.

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



My Networks - Your Social Networks in One Place

Just like e-mail, we know that many people use and enjoy social networks to stay connected with friends and family members. So we’ve introduced a new feature called "My Networks" that lets you see your updates from multiple social networks all in one place. And we're giving you an easy way to send a status update out to your profiles with just one click.

You can log in and access your profile updates from AIM, MySpace and Facebook. Bebo and Twitter and other networks are coming soon.

And, if you're asking yourself "What's a social network?", they’re Web sites that provide a fun and easy way to stay connected to people. Try setting up an account with one of them and see how many of the people you know already belong to a social network. We bet you'll be surprised!


How To Get Started

The login and setup for each provider is easy. For AIM, you will simply need to enter in your username and password into the fields provided. A quick tip for AOL and AIM users -- you can use your AOL screen name to log in to the AIM Network.


For Facebook and MySpace, you'll make a quick visit to their site first to log in and give your permission to access your profile on the AOL.ca homepage.


Once signed in, you will be able to see notifications of pending messages, friend updates and more at a glance without having to go to each site individually.

Global Status Updater

For those "super users" who belong to every social network out there (you know who you are...), one of the most time-consuming activities is updating your status on each of your networks. One of our favourite new features of the new homepage is the ability to update your status across your social networks without leaving your AOL.ca homepage. Just go down to the Update Your Status area at the bottom of "My Networks " and click on the social networks that you want to update Then type in your message, and click Update All. You just need to be signed into the networks you want to update.


How We Store Your My Networks Choices

When you make changes to your page, like changing your My Networks, we store those choices in a secure "cookie" on the computer that you are using. A cookie is, basically, a file that stores information you enter on a Web page, to save you time later. We use cookies on the AOL.ca homepage so that you don't have to Sign In or be required to have an AOL screen name to use and save your personalization options. However, deleting your browser cookies or private data will wipe out any changes you've made to your homepage. Remember, the best way to save and protect your personalization choices is to use the "Sign in to Save" feature. Learn more..

It's that simple. Now, if only everything in life could be this easy and convenient! We hope you love this new feature as much as we do.

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



My Links - Your Customizable Navigation

Searching for links to the Web sites you visit regularly can be time consuming. So, we've taken a fresh look at AOL’s Directory and navigation in general, to provide you with more options and control over the sites that appear on your homepage.

My Links

"My Links" lets you add links to sites you visit most, so you can access the things you care about in one, convenient place; the AOL.ca homepage. And, it's easy to customize "My Links". Just click on "Add Link" and then enter the Web site address (URL) and the label that you'd like to see on your homepage. This can be ANY site on the Web and you can update these as often as you like.

We put in a few entries to get you started, but you can delete them and/or add your own. To edit or delete an item, just rollover the link and click on the pen icon to the right of any entry.

Additionally, you can drag and drop items in "My Links" to put them in the order that you want them to appear. Just rollover the item you want to move, click on the icon with four horizontal lines and hold down the mouse as you move that link to where you want it in your "My Links" line-up.

Directory

We've also added more links to the Directory to give you access to more of the AOL content and features you like without having to look for them. We're sure you're going to find some interesting sites that you may not have known were out there. And if you're not sure what something is, you can mouse-over any of the links to get a quick description of what that site's about. So take some time and explore. And like "My Links", you can also reorder the Directory line up by rolling over a link and clicking and holding the icon with four horizontal lines to put things in the order that you want them.

How We Store Your My Links Choices

When you make changes to your page, like adding Web sites to My Links, we store those choices in a secure "cookie" on the computer that you are using. A cookie is, basically, a file that stores information you enter on a Web page, to save you time later. We use cookies on the AOL.ca homepage so that you don't have to Sign In or be required to have an AOL screen name to use and save your personalization options. However, deleting your browser cookies or private data will wipe out any changes you've made to your homepage. Remember, the best way to save and protect your personalization choices is to use the "Sign in to Save" feature. Learn more..

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs



More Control - Expand and Collapse Content

We've added an exciting new feature that will allow you to tailor your homepage more to your preferences. This feature is one that we've received requests for in our feedback, and it's just one of the many ways we are striving to make AOL.ca the ideal homepage experience.

The new functionality allows you to collapse or expand select sections of the page. If you see a downward-facing arrow to the left of the title of a content area, then this means you can click it to either hide or show the content inside.

Below is an image showing an expanded content area -- Finance News.

You'll see a downward-facing arrow next to the title:

Let's say that you aren't currently interested in Finance News and want to minimize it on your page.

One click to the arrow will allow you to hide the Finance News content, which will look like this:

To see the Finance News content again, click the arrow pointing right to expand the section. Give it a try!

AOL.ca will remember the expand or collapse state that you leave each module in for each visit so that it will be the same each time you come to the page. If you happen to reset your cookies at some point, these settings will be lost and you will need to tweak your page again. Click here for more info on how we store your settings.

FAQs:

- How are my homepage preferences stored?
- What if I don't sign in to AOL.ca?
- Why did all of the changes I made to my page disappear?
- How can I prevent the changes I make to my page from being lost?
- Why don't I see the changes I've made to my page on other computers?
- What if I have my page set up one way at home and another way at work?
- What happens on a shared computer?
- Why weren't my changes applied to my profile?
- What can I customize on AOL.ca?

Q: How are my homepage preferences stored?
A: If you sign in on AOL.ca or if you come to the page already signed in, your preferences will be stored as part of your profile and associated with your screen name. This means that you can visit AOL.ca from any computer and sign in to access your homepage set up exactly the way you like, with your theme, your links, etc. We will do a one-time transfer of your settings the first time you sign in. After that, you will want to sign in before you make additional updates in order for them to be saved properly.

Q: What if I don't sign in to AOL.ca?
A: You can still customize AOL.ca without signing in. When you do this, your preferences are stored in a cookie on your computer. Cookies store information you enter on a Web page, such as preferences or login information, to save you time later. The drawback to this is that if you delete your cookies, you will lose any customization work you've done. Please keep this in mind if you decide not to sign in to the page. Click here for more information on cookies. (goes to article below)

Q: Why did all of the changes I made to my page disappear?
A: If you have never signed in to save your page, and if your browser cookies get deleted, you will lose your preferences. Cookies are the way that your individual choices are managed. So if your cookies are deleted or if your settings are such that you don't allow cookies to be saved, then your customization choices will also not be able to be saved for the next time you visit the page. If you have already signed in before to save your settings and you aren't seeing them, check the sign-in area in the upper right-hand corner of the page and make sure you see "Hello" messaging which will tell you that you are signed in.

Q: How can I prevent the changes I make to my page from being lost?
A: Signing in will prevent your changes from being lost.

Q: Why don't I see the changes I've made to my page on other computers?
A: If you haven't signed in to AOL.ca at least once to save your page, you will not be able to see your customized page on another computer. If you have signed in before and you still aren't seeing your page properly, check to make sure you are properly signed in. To check this, look in the upper right corner of the page next to the Search area; if you see "Sign In" instead of "Hello" messaging, you are not signed in.

Q: What if I have my page set up one way at home and another way at work?
A: Whichever page you sign into first will be the one associated with your screen name moving forward. However, signing in will not cause you to lose the personalization that was there before. So, if you go to work and sign in to AOL.ca and it pulls in your home setup, you can click "Sign Out" to go back to your work version of the page. As long as you keep your cookie from being deleted on that computer, you will be able to keep that personalization intact as long as you are signed out. If you would like to keep separate and distinct saved pages, our recommendation is to use a different screen name for each page. For more information on having multiple screen names, click here.

Q: What happens on a shared computer?
A: If you access AOL.ca on a shared computer, any customization that is done to the page is stored in a shared cookie. This forces you to have to share settings with others. Now you have the ability to sign in to access your page with your settings and maintain them -- whenever and wherever you are signed in. When you sign out, the page will go back to the way it was previously. The next person who uses the computer can then sign in and follow the same course of action, or they can choose to use the page without being signed in.

Q: Why weren't my changes applied to my profile?
A: The first time you sign in after this new feature is available; we will transfer all of your settings to your screen name so that you can take them with you. This "transfer" only happens the first time you sign in. After the initial settings transfer, all changes that you make while you're signed in will continue to be saved to your screen name. Going forward, if you make changes before signing in, these updates will not be transferred. This is why it's important to always sign in to the page or use the "Keep Me Signed In" feature if you'd like to ensure that all of your settings will be tied to your screen name.

Q: What can I customize on AOL.ca?
A: One of the great things about AOL.ca is that there are lots of ways to customize the page to both make it look the way you want it to look and give you the information that is most important and useful to you. Here are a few key areas: Themes: Customize the colouring and background of the new page. There are lots of fun and stylish themes to choose from. Including the new Zen theme! (goes directly to new Zen details page)

My Links: Add any links to the page so that your favourite sites are just one click away. You can also reorder the AOL Directory by dragging and dropping items to be able to put the links in whatever order best meets your needs.

My Stuff: Select the four preview panels you'd like to see by default when you load the page.

News Feeds, RSS Browser: Add individual RSS feeds and categories to the page to be able to see content from your favourite external sites.

More Control: Minimize or maximize many of the content spaces on the page. We will remember the state you left that section in the next time you visit the page.

If you haven't yet customized anything on AOL.ca, we recommend signing in first to ensure that everything is applied to your screen name.

If you want to learn more about all the available features, click on the links below:

Sign In To Save – let your preferences follow you regardless of what computer you sign in from!
Mail Preview - preview your mail from Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL
Themes - choose your homepage design and check out the new Zen theme here
My Stuff - your mini-dashboard with mail preview and more
RSS Feed Browser - news and updates from other Web sites
My Networks - your social networks in one place
My Links – customizable navigation
More Control - expand and collapse content
FAQs