Windows/Mac: RockMelt, the new Chromium-based social networking browser, updated today to add improved Facebook chat, real-time Twitter updates, a bookmark-and-read-later function, and support for Chromium 10. More »
RockMelt, the Chromium-based social Web browser has reached a new milestone today. Following its first public beta that was released in early March, RockMelt Beta 2 has started being pushed to the browser's users. The new version brings many new features, alongside the usual bug fixes, performance enhancements, and a new base for the browser -- Chromium 10, which also powers Google Chrome's stable channel releases at the moment. The previous RockMelt beta was based on Chromium 9, and it's nice to see it kept up-to-date.
Perhaps the most intriguing new feature in RockMelt Beta 2 is the new bookmarking system, intuitively called View Later. RockMelt's developers have come to the conclusion that, in a modern browser that offers address auto-complete and makes the most visited sites accessible on the new tab page, people don't use bookmarks anymore -- at least not the way they used to back in the day. These days apparently, bookmarking is mostly about saving interesting pages for future reference. Which is where View Later comes in. You just click on the new clock icon at the far right of the address bar (where Chrome's star icon is), and you've added the page you're viewing to your View Later queue. You can even add individual posts from Facebook or Twitter. Your View Later contents are synced using RockMelt's general sync mechanism.
RockMelt Beta 2 also packs a new Twitter app, which now lets you edit retweets, view direct messages, reply to all, and easily use Twitter search. It uses Twitter's new real-time API, so you get the tweets exactly at the moment they're published.
The Chat bar has been redesigned, making it easier to keep track of multiple conversations, since chats are now docked in the Chat bar along the bottom of the browser, where they even stay visible while you browse the Web. Incoming chat messages will trigger notifications, and the ability to drag individual chat sessions out of the bar and into separate windows is still there.
All in all a solid update, that has started rolling out today and will reach all of the browser's users in a week's time. What remains to be seen is how many people are willing to switch from any of the 'big guys' to RockMelt for its added features.