Social browser? What?
When I started getting “on the net”, your browser choices for a “PC” (as opposed to Mac) browser were limited. These days there are lots of options as to how you browse the WWW. Now with mobile devices, netbooks, tablets, Android devices, iPhones & iPads, Windows 7, “the Cloud” etc etc, we are bombarded with how we can experience the digital world.
We also have lots of digital outlets for speaking our mind and staying in touch with our friends. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs with RSS feeds and YouTube. Tabbed browsing was the first breakthrough for keeping our influx of information coming without having to re-open our favourite sites. But somewhere along the line, even that became cumbersome.
This is where the social browser comes in. At a glance, I can see which of my Facebook friends are online, how many tweets and facebook statuses have not yet been ‘read’, if there are any YouTube subscriptions that have released new videos, if my Gmail account has any unread mail, and put up an RSS feed on any website or blog that has the RSS feature available.
For the last 2 weeks I have been using RockMelt exclusively as my browser. It’s not the first social browser, but it is the latest one released. It’s built on a “Chromium” base (like Google’s Chrome browser) and is quite easy to use.
So what do I think of it?
- Easy to use, pretty intuitive.
- Clean interface
- Can search Google.com from the address bar.
- Can share website finds through Twitter or Facebook with the click of one button.
- All my social media is easy to see in a sidebar, and can be checked with a single click.
- Easy to add RSS feeds to the sidebar
- Not going to Facebook.com to check statuses prevents me wasting time with the online games
- Currently it’s Invitation Only
- Not very customisable
- No ‘Home Page’ button/shortcut
- Has to be set up at each computer to use on multiple PC’s
- Logs in using a Facebook app
- Can’t add Google Reader as an app on the sidebar
- Search only uses Google.com, can’t change default to Google.com.au
- Twitter automatically shortens URLs, and there doesn’t seem to be an option to turn that off
All in all it has been a comfortable change from Firefox to RockMelt. Do I prefer it? I think with a few more features, it could definitely be my browser of choice.
I have 6 RockMelt invitations to share if you’d like to try it for yourself. Just leave a comment below saying you’d like one (make sure your email address is there somewhere) and I’ll send it on over.
Next I’ll be looking at using Flock.