updated 10:50 pm EST, Sun November 7, 2010
RockMelt social browser enters early form
Newly public startup RockMelt tonight formally launched a self-titled web browser that it hopes will make social browsing common. Based on a concept of frequent sharing much like Flock, the browser's always-on connection to Facebook both makes it possible to share any page through a single button but also to follow others. The app always lists a chosen list of friends on a sidebar and supplies a quick glance at status updates, detailed feeds and Facebook chat for when both contacts are online at the same time.
Web feeds are also faster, as a second sidebar provides access to favorite sites with a Safari-style notification when new content has come in. Search is simplified with search results that auto-populate and the option of live previews of the results before switching over. It can follow and refine search behavior over time to become more relevant, although the company stressed that it doesn't push thei nformation online.
The entire design is based closely on Google's open-source Chromium engine and should compete with the most recent web browsers in speed and accuracy.
RockMelt is currently in a testing phase but is accepting invitation requests through a Facebook connection for both Mac and Windows users. It hasn't given an estimate for when the finished browser should be available.