If you're a Facebook addict, then you must have heard, or maybe even used, the RockMelt browser that launched last November. I have RockMelt installed on both my PC and Mac, and now I their mobile app is on my iPhone (addict or what). If you're like me, then you probably tend not to stick with one browser, rather multiple; Chrome, FireFox, RockMelt, and Safari (and no, I do not use Internet Explorer…). I've been using FireFox a lot lately because of their new launch of FF 4, which I think has some cool features to it. There's a lot happening in the 'browser industry' and I think it's harder on the users because we don't know which browser we should choose to go with.
But, let's get right into it. After fiddling around with the RockMelt app on my iPhone (free from the iTunes store), I found the user experience to be good.
Here's what the homepage interface and settings menu looks like on the iPhone:
Here are some of the things that I like from a iPhone user/reader perspective:
Cross-synchronization between your desktop computer (Mac or PC) with the RockMelt iPhone app: If you have RockMelt installed on your computer, any activity/asset you have on the browser (bookmarks, favourites), carries over to your other devices that have RockMelt on there as well. The team did a fantastic job with this feature. For example, if you do a search in their search/URL bar, the browser presents results from Google. You can then easily bookmark the link to your browser, which instantly adds that bookmark to your browser on your PC/Mac (yes, I tested it and it showed up instantly!).
View Later: You're half-way through an exciting, but long article, when all of a sudden you notice that you're going to be late for your client meeting… so what do you do? You close your window, lock your phone, and start rushing to your meeting. In many cases, you forget things because our days are full of activities that require us to remind this and that. RockMelt's View Later feature is a neat, but intuitive one that allows you add an article to a list that you can return to afterwards, to finish up what you were reading. As far as I can tell, you can have as many articles in that list, but it might be counter productive to build a view later list that comprises of over 1000 articles, wouldn't you say?
Names in Twitter feed: Unlike the Twitter app on the iPhone, RockMelt displays the account's actual name in the feed. I found this to be a nice component to reading somebody's update, to be reading 'John said' instead of '@johnsyourboss said' blah blah blah…
News feed opens up original article: Unlike the Pulse reader where it renders an article on their own display, RockMelt loads the ariticle on the original site. This may convince webmasters to think about having a mobile friendly design as we move over to portable devices to read our favourite blogs.
It's great to see that RockMelt's come out with a product that has an option to add and manage RSS feeds on their application. Does this mean trouble for Pulse?
I found that the RockMelt app doesn't have a feature that allows you to add custom feeds right from your iPhone. There is predetermined list of feeds to choose from when you click on their Add Feeds button, but that is all. Did I miss this somewhere? I'm sure I went through and click on every single button but couldn't get to that 'add custom feed' into the RockMelt app…
I can however, add the add manually from my RockMelt browser on my Mac and it syncs instantly to my list of feeds on the RockMelt app. Hm…
Here's a quick video that explains what the features are for RockMelt for iPhone:
Thoughts about RockMelt on the iPhone?
What are your thought about the RockMelt application on the iPhone? What improvements can they make moving forward to make the browsing and reading experience better? Please share your comments below.