I'm usually quite hard to impress when it comes to social media, browsers and so on. I'd seen the hype about Rockmelt and was quite keen to try it out. I have to say that from an initial 10 minute play, I think it's great, and Firefox is going to have to run in order to keep up. Having said that, let's take a bit of a look at it.
It's called 'social' for a reason, as both sides of the browser are reserved for your friends and contacts, with the main part of the screen available for displaying pages. This does mean that more scrolling is required, but not a great deal (but I can close either side if necessary.) This is what the thing looks like:
On the left hand side of the screen are a listing of friends which it has taken (with permission) from Facebook. You can toggle this with a listing of all your friends who are online at the moment. Above we have the usual menu/tabbing system, and it quickly and effectively imported all my bookmarks from Firefox. Interestingly it didn't ask about Chrome or IE. On the right hand side of the screen are RSS feeds from favourite sites, which can very quickly be added with a mouse click.
If I want to see what is happening in my social circle, I can just click on a feed:
I can quickly share, retweet or reply without having to go to the website. If I want to share a link that I've found, it's as easy as clicking on the 'share' option at the top of the screen, and choosing the social media resource that I want to share it with - Facebook or Twitter.
I can't yet see a way of tweeting to them, and I'd like to have more ways of contacting that individual other than Facebook. While the see the obvious value of Facebook in being a primary resource, there are others out there which it would also be useful to integrate with; Twitter and LinkedIn being obvious examples.
When you open a new tab Rockmelt displays a list of most visited sites, recently closed tabs and your history, which is really helpful. Search is really nice as well. Click on the search option, top right and get a list of results, which you can scroll through as necessary.
However, we're not finished yet, since I can either open up the results into the main browser page, or I can simply click on each result as well, getting it to load. So much for Google's preview option that I mentioned yesterday. What you can't see from the screenshot though is just how lightening fast this is. I clicked, it displayed instantly, I clicked again and it changed pages instantly. This is really starting to impress me now, and I did promise myself that I wouldn't say 'Rockmelt rocks!' but y'know - it actually does. Another thing that I liked about search is that if I start typing my search Rockmelt also inserts the names of my friends as well, so I can quickly go to the profiles that Rockmelt displays for me on the screen.
I have much more playing around to do with this browser, but I'm already starting to wonder about making it my default browser instead of Firefox. It's smart, effective, easy to use, simple to install, integrates nicely and is well thought out. Excellent so far!