RockMelt is a new web browser that claims it will integrate social media, RSS feeds, and a personalized web experience into one unit. As of 11/08/10, the RockMelt beta was released. The following is an early review of RockMelt.
To run RockMelt, you must log in using your Facebook account. Facebook will ask you if RockMelt can access basically everything about your and your friends’ profiles. This is okay, RockMelt needs this information to run the Facebook portion of the browser correctly.
The first thing I noticed was the extreme similarity to Chrome. After a quick visit to the RockMelt site, I learned that it is built on the same Chromium source code Chrome is built on; the same speed, security, and stability that makes Chrome awesome is built into RockMelt.
Along the right and left sides of the browser are narrow columns – Edges, as RockMelt calls them. The left side contains pictures of your Facebook friends that are currently online and what there statuses (online, idle, offline) are. The right side contains your chosen RSS feeds. This feature alone makes RockMelt worth trying.
Both the Friends and App Edges update unobtrusively and in real-time. Perfect for anyone who is constantly their Facebook or jumping between blogs to check on new posts. Because there are no large obnoxious pop-ups, its also great for when one actually needs to get something done – no interruptions.
In addition to the Edges, there are also some neat features around the toolbars. To the right of the address bar is a “Share” button. When you’re browsing and you come across something that’s so amazingly awesome that you need to share it, click “share” and you’ll instantly post the link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
To the right of the share button is the Google search bar. When you do a search, the results appear in a larger pop-up box under the bar instead of in the current tab. A click of the link opens the website in the current tab. For opening to a background tab, click the small “+” that appears when you hover over the result.
There is a magnifying glass that seems a part of the search box. Not only is it not part of the search bar, but when you click on the magnifying glass, a website ‘security information’ box pops up. I found this a bit odd – if a person doesn’t press ‘enter,’ after typing their query, they will likely click on a magnifying glass to initiate the search. Oh well.
RockMelt is a sleek, up-to-date browser that integrates you in the web world. The unobtrusive Edges allow one to work and monitor their Facebook at the same time. The user can share anything quickly with the click of a button. What really makes this browser shine, however, is the personalized web experience.
RockMelt has ended frustration of using a different computer to use the Internet. Personal preferences and bookmarks are stored in the cloud (online) and are accessible whenever you want to use them. No more annoying not-quite-how-you’d-like-it web surfing. Just sign in to RockMelt using Facebook and your ready to go.
The only bad point about my initial run with RockMelt was that it kept crashing. Unexpectedly. When I was almost done writing this article. It’s still in beta, so I’m sure it will get fixed, but if you are going to use the Internet for work, use a stable browser for now. Or save your work every five minutes.
Will RockMelt be the next big browser? Hard to say – its great for social media, but it may be too distracting for some. Is it a Chrome replacement? Unlikely, as Chrome is still being updated. Overall, however, I really do like the RockMelt browser. I think the interface is well designed and that the overall concept is great. I will be using RockMelt for some time to come.