How Does the RockMelt Browser Stack Up?
I got my hands on a RockMelt invite today and did a quick download and install. All my FireFox history and bookmarks were copied over as well. The entire process was quick and easy. Upon opening RockMelt I instantly liked the layout. There’s a quick guided tour via HTML page with anchor tags that take you through the social aspects of the browser.
Eric Vishria and Tim Howes founded RockMelt with the intent of combining a browser with social interactivity. RockMelt is built for users who have Facebook, Twitter and other social network accounts and actively use them. By adding narrow columns on both sides of the browser, users can communicate quickly and easily with Facebook friends, read RSS feeds and get Twitter updates effortlessly.
RockMelt attempts to create a social frame around the browser and from what I have experienced thus far, does a pretty good job of it. The browser the development team at RockMelt have used is Chrome, so users of that browsers will find it very familiar.
So, what do I think of RockMelt?
I’m the kind of guy who uses Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome at the same time, all the time. I have a two display setup on two of my workstations and I typically have Firefox up on my main screen loaded with at least 15 tabs at any given time. On the secondary monitor you’ll find Chrome loaded with Facebook, Twitter and various other windows for search, development and testing. I use TweetDeck and Digsby also and have them setup on my secondary monitor to see Friends updates and any new emails from my various email accounts.
RockMelt will now replace Chrome. It will also fully replace the need for Digsby. Effective immediately, I am ditching the two in favor of RockMelt. RockMelt is awesome. I tested it’s quickness and even loaded all my regular tabs into it. RockMelt routinely uses only a third of the memory that FireFox uses. Awesome!!
How do websites look in RockMelt?
If you have used or are using Chrome you’ll know the answer to this. I couldn’t see any obvious variations on how any of the numerous pages I tested looked and behaved between RockMelt and regular Chrome. I don’t care much however for the Twitter integration and will keep using Tweetdeck for my Twitter needs. I also won’t be using RockMelt’s integrated quick search results when you type anything in the search field at the top right of the browser. The functionality seemed clunky and at times unresponsive.
The ease of use of being able to update and respond via Facebook are enough to make me keep RockMelt and continue to use it as my secondary browser but it won’t be replacing FireFox yet. Overall, i’m impressed with RockMelt and hope the dev team keep up the good work. This is one hellova product for a beta.