RockMelt

I’m sure any of you who’ve been following technology news would’ve heard of the recent hype surrounding RockMelt, the social web browser designed for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Well, I decided to try it out.

Uh oh, they love Facebook, you need a Facebook account to request for an invitation. Oh well, it wouldn’t be a social browser without deep Facebook integration, right?

I was lucky to have a friend who happened to have an invite, so I got the browser download very soon after I requested for the browser. Download and installation was a breeze, in fact it’s the exact same steps as Google Chrome.

When I started RockMelt, I was asked to login to Facebook using my details.

This is the home screen of RockMelt:

I thought that it’s rather nicely designed (the top left RockMelt button is obviously a rip-off from FF4), clean and neat, though I suppose the RockMelt button could be on the same level as the tabs to provide more screen estate.

The top left corner contains your Facebook profile picture; when you click on it, you can update your various statuses on social networks (Facebook + Twitter for me). Neat.

The left side contains the Friends Edge (as they call it) that has all the online Facebook friends. Clicking on them opens up a chatbox, with a tab to their Recent Activity (their wall I suppose?).

There are shortcuts to include the current page you’re viewing as a Share to your friend’s Facebook wall – one feature I really like.

And the right side has the App Edge, which is basically an RSS Feed reader with customized interfaces for social networks (You can do Likes and Comments on Facebook, replies on Twitter etc). I could also view my wall and notifications.

Here comes the bugs – sometimes when I click on the notification it pops out and disappears after a second, and I need to click on it again. And the RSS Feeds doesn’t update most of the time – that’s just ridiculous.

I should also point out that the Friend/App Edge takes some time at start-up to load, but that’s excusable.

Whenever you visit a new website, the ‘Add to Edge’ button shines green, allowing you to add the website’s RSS into the App Edge. Neat.

Interestingly, I deleted my Twitter Edge in an attempt to make it refresh itself (due to the non-updating RSS -_-) and couldn’t get it back. (The ‘Add to Edge’ @ twitter.com only added the ‘Favourites’ version of it) I had to restart the browser a couple of times for it.

There’s a Share button on top, which allows you to share the webpage you’re viewing to social networks – nice.

And the Google Search at the right side is also redesigned to be simpler. But I can’t middle click it with my mouse to open it in a new tab 😦

And it creates multiple copies of itself on the Windows 7 Superbar. Like what!

Overall, I would say RockMelt is a great idea – maybe – but not exactly to my taste. I mean, why use it when you can just browse facebook.com? Some may say it’s for convenience, but I don’t really see the point there – the original Facebook interface is as convenient. The one thing I have to give it though, is the Share button, which is very nicely designed and nifty.

And it’s buggy most of the time 😦

I would continue using the browser to give it more suggestions and report bugs, but I guess it’s not for me – I don’t really need the convenience it provides. It’s just my personal opinion.

So until it becomes more polished and bug-free, that’s for the one-day browsing experience @ RockMelt. It’s been fun.

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