A browser should be a basic tool that works equally well for everyone. This browser has Facebook and Twitter built in -- fine for the US/UK market, but what about Europe, South America, and all over Asia, where different networks hold sway? Even if you did try to build integration for all these networks, you would forever be playing catch-up, trying to write a single application with all the features provided by 50 other application development teams. I don't think it makes sense.
What if your browser became the new unit of social networking -- like a diaspora node? That would be truly new, and truly universal, at least in potential.
All that said, this still looks interesting to me -- I'm definitely part of the target demographic. I might even end up using it regularly. I was just hoping for something a little more fundamental.
This is Chrome. It looks almost identical apart from a VERY distracting list of of your friends' Facebook profile pics down the left hand side, and equally distracting "unread" counts from your Facebook and Twitter feeds on the right.
The oddest thing is that this browser seems to require that you log in to Facebook to start it -- at least, I didn't see a cancel button. The next time Facebook has an outage that's going to be really interesting (also, I can imagine people who work at Facebook QA will confuse the hell out of it).
The bookmarks bar is disabled by default. Instead, your bookmarks are integrated into the "about:blank" page, which is an interesting idea. However, I am a heavy user of bookmarklets (delicious/tumblr/awe.sm), which need to be in a real bookmark bar to be able to work, so I needed to enable the bookmarks bar, a setting which is a little buried.
The Twitter client is activated by hitting the "unread tweets" button on the right hand side. The client is full-featured if a little rough-edged right now -- but if I'm in a browser already, why wouldn't I just have a tab with Twitter's excellent web client open? Likewise the Facebook client. It's maybe saving me one click, but if I have my Facebook/Twitter tabs closed it's because I'm trying to get some work done, so the unread counts don't help.
There are some interesting potential features in here, though. The right-hand side allows you to add feeds for other websites, which is a potentially powerful idea. The integrated sharing tools are extremely slick -- maybe if they provided a way for websites to automatically integrate their own sharing tools I wouldn't miss the bookmarks bar so much.
I'll give it a few more hours, but my initial impressions are mixed at best.
and an excerpt, which makes my main point, that Rockmelt is in a great position to be bought– by Facebook:
"Additionally, the Chrome Web Apps store is unlikely to support Safari or Firefox, which makes the fact that almost all of these browsers (including the latest version of Flock) are based on webkit a moot point. Standards support will be the minimum requirement to use a web app, but the real value will be in the specific technologies that these different browsers adopt and the rate at which they adopt them, as well as the way apps get incorporated into a user's browser. The 2nd browser wars have begun.
Apple understands this, which is why it maintains a Windows port of Safari, has a Safari Dev Center, and is building a huge server farm in North Carolina. I fully expect to see an Apple backed cloud apps platform, running on a Safari for an end user, next year."
because it's about browser enhanced apps and the browser web app stores.
Gotta start somewhere, I imagine they'll be adding more social networks later but it's probably easier to start with the social networks that the developers actually use.
Yeah ... I'll pass.
The world is probably different from a few years ago, so there is probably a higher chance that this might succeed.
You may not be able to put make a tweet this link button right where you want it but you can get pretty darn close.
In my view:
I reminds me of something even older than that, leading me to think that Facebook is, or will be, the new AOL.
Also: their site is more boring than SAP. Where are the screenshots? Where are they actually trying to get me as a user?
I think this is definitely something that's worth another try (or two, or three).
Hey people, HN already displays the domain name - put something useful in there please!
It assumes I have a singular window to the virtual world, and yet its social experience model of sidebars does not scale well when applied linearly to the way I consume information using browsers.
It's an immediate fail. I usually run maybe two dozen browser windows, each with tabs. The modality of that experience will not map on to how I should consume the social aspects of my online life.
Roboform for password creation, filling, sync., etc. I find it indispensable and it's one of the few softwares I paid for.
Roboform passcards saved in Dropbox, so my Roboforms on all my machines will sync. There is now a Roboform Online, which I also use, which totally obviates this, and if I'm ever feeling motivated I'll simply move them out of Dropbox. That probably won't happen soon since there's no perceivable benefit.
Xmarks to keep bookmarks synced across different browsers on different machines. I typically use Firefox, though often Chrome, and at work IE for testing stuff.
Some annoying service to sync bookmarks to my Android browser. I tried Firefox beta but it's just not ready, so the stock browser has to do. I still have to manually export these though, yuck.
This giant hodgepodge of services keeps my browser sorta could-based, but it's still far from perfect. I still have to install all this on every machine and set it up. It's annoying to deal with, but it runs smoothly and it works.
Rockmelt could easily replace all of this if they just had an Android browser. Without that I'm still stuck with all of it even if I want to use Rockmelt, which I might if Roboform works. (Roboform online for Android is indispensable too.)
With Android, IOS, WebOS, Symbian, et al. anybody can get up to date notifications about anyone's location, feelings, and opinions aggregated from their favorite sources - no "computer" required.
I recently saw that push notifications had been proposed in the HTML5 spec then later removed, not sure why. Although I still think that you have to have a tab open on the site to receive them.
I don't want to just use this as a Chrome substitute simple because if I ignore the extra features, it feels essentially the same... I'm not going to give a company so much in terms of data on my activities & potential revenue for so little added value in exchange.
I want to "get" this. But I haven't had my ah-ha moment yet. Will keep trying a bit longer though...
(I am somewhat biased because I run a vaguely similar (but very different implementation) service: http://readness.com)
All of the heavy lifting in terms of the browser itself has been done for them by Google.
How? It's social plugins with easy APIs on top of a well written WebKit browser.
At least, I assume that's what the footer there is for: http://www.rockmelt.com/