A long time ago in an announcement far, far away, former Netscape founder Marc Andreesen made waves when he expressed his intention to fund development of a completely new browser known as RockMelt. Now that a year has passed, it seems that the browser is finally ready (well, almost) to hit end-users. And from the looks of it, RockMelt seems capable of completely changing the browsing experience that we know today.
Read on to find out more.
Now that Facebook is essentially the new ‘face’ of the Internet and online social networking is at its peak, it is understandable that many are seeking to further integrate their social networking needs deeper into the web browsing experience. After all, almost every other reputable application and online service already has some form of Facebook or social networking integration.
In spite of this, there is still one aspect of the Internet which is surprisingly lacking in social networking integration: our web browsing experience. Granted, certain plug-ins for social networking functionality do exist, but there is no browser which currently offers the kind of integration with online social networking services found in applications like iTunes and some Android phones.
This is where RockMelt comes in to fill the gap.
Unlike the standard browsers today, Rockmelt is built up completely from scratch, with ‘sharing ‘ being the main theme of the project. And as the screenshot of the browser shows, the interface for RockMelt is rather different from what one would expect for a web browser. However, it can be argued that if you are going up against the likes of Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox, a completely different is probably the best way to distinguish yourself.
According to TechCrunch, one of the unique features about RockMelt is that the user is required to log in to the browser before it can be used. Once that is done, the browser will display a list of friends and social networks which users are currently subscribed to on the left and right panels of the browser respectively. And because RockMelt is built around networking and sharing, the icons on the panels are updated in real time: clicking the icons produce an overlay containing the latest RSS feeds from the relevant sites.
And that is only the ‘networking’ part of RockMelt. RockMelt’s other key feature, sharing, is just as integrated into the browser as its social networking features. Located next to the address bar is a ‘Share’ button which does exactly what it says. By clicking the ‘Share’ button, RockMelt will automatically share a website, complete with preview and images, on the user’s Facebook account. This probably makes RockMelt more of a Facebook browser than a generic online social networking browser per se, but the underlying purpose is the same: to provide built-in support for updating and sharing information on social networking sites.
Of course, these are not the only features available on RockMelt. If you are keen to try out what RockMelt has to offer, the instructions for obtaining an invitation to download the browser is available on the project’s home page at www.rockmelt.com