Feel the need to be constantly connected to social media? RockMelt, a new Web browser, is targeting people who do. The RockMelt browser displays information from users' news feeds, Twitter, and Facebook accounts on the sides of their browser window. Now people can chat with Facebook friends, post on their walls, or tweet without ever having to switch browser windows.
A beta version of the RockMelt Web browser is already available on the company's website, and it plans to release an iPhone app in the next few days (pending approval from Apple), according to a spokeswoman. The Wall Street Journal’s Katherine Boehret recently got her hands on the app. “RockMelt is well suited for use on the go,” she said, “but key elements of the browser are missing in the mobile app.”
Boehret likes how the app synchronizes with the PC browser, which means that users can mark pages to “View Later” on their computers, then read them on their iPhone. She also found posting updates on Facebook and Twitter to be a breeze, with the app automatically shortening Web links. The app’s “Add Feeds” button made it easy to get content from a list of websites (including The Onion and People.com) sorted into different categories like Sports, Humor, or Technology.
There were other downsides to the app version as well. While the PC browser has a search box that automatically includes Facebook friends in each search and suggests Web content, Boehret notes the app only has a basic Google search bar. The app also doesn’t include the PC browser’s “Friend Edge,” which displays a list of a user’s Facebook friends on the left side of the window, allowing users to check on their friends' latest activity or availability status.
Users must have a Facebook account to be able to use either the PC or mobile version of RockMelt, but for the social media obsessed, the browser should prove useful.