When Rockmelt social browser was first officially released a few months ago (March 2011), I downloaded and installed it on my computer at work to test it. It seemed like an interesting browser. I didn’t get a chance to explore it fully but today I have installed it on my computer here at home, and I will go through the login process and general functions right now.
As soon as you open the browser, you are presented with a small Facebook login box. If you do not click on this box you will still be able to use the browser, but not for its social function which it was intended. So I’ve decided to cooperate and login with my Facebook account, and I’ve also allowed Rockmelt to “access messages in my inbox” as well as to “access my friends requests”.
I am then presented with a “Close Firefox Before Importing” pop-up box which I’m finding odd because I have not granted the permission for RockMelt to automatically import settings from Mozilla Firefox (which is set to my default browser). The error box also reads:
Sadly, your Mozilla Firefox settings are not available while that browser is running. To import those settings to RockMelt, save your work and close all Firefox windows. Then click Continue.
I’ve selected ‘skip import’ and the browser is launched.
The landing page says “Hi Sabrina, welcome to RockMelt. Get started in 3 steps.” The 3 steps being:
- Add an App – Get instant updates from sites in your App Edge
- Share a Link – Post links quickly to facebook, twitter and more
- Favorite Friends – Chat and get updates from the Friend Edge
On the left-hand side of the browser, I’ve got a list of avatars showing both online and offline Facebook chat friends. If you hover over the avatars, it will show you a larger thumbnail of the person’s avatar, and their last status message. While apps are displayed on the right-hand side of the browser. The top end of the browser window shows the 3 items similar to Facebook: Friend requests, messages and notifications. When clicked on, they react exactly the way Facebook’s buttons would, although here at RockMelt, they seem to load a whole lot faster. Thumbs up for that!
A friend of mine has just started chatting with me on Facebook, the chat box has appeared at the bottom end of the browser. If I minimize my window and receive a new chat message, I don’t seem to be notified all the time. This would work to my advantage if I were chatting with my friends at the office. But as I’m using this browser at home, I find it a little bit odd. I suppose it would be great for busy people who don’t want to get a new message notification.
Then again I’m using the default settings of the browser, and have not explored customizations to its full extent.
I’ve visited my blog page on Rockmelt, and the edges have covered part of my website. But the good thing about this is that because I’m not really into the apps yet, I can right-click on the edge panel and there is an option to ‘hide edge’. Another thumbs up.
I’ve visited Facebook updates on the App edge, and I notice a significant increase in speed / loading time for Facebook updates. It’s almost like I really ought to start using this browser to access Facebook. So far so good.