Everything about Rockmelt (including IDM support)
Today, the browser connects you to your world. Why not build your world right into your browser? ~ Rockmelt team
With backing by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and development team lead by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria, it was no wonder that the new “social media integrated” web browser “Rockmelt” received eye glances and raving media sensation following its private beta launch on November 8, 2010. It’s been close to 4 months since it’s beta launch, and while being still in it’s primitive beta stage, Rockmelt has already became heartthrob of many a facebook/twitter addicts. Following an invite only usage (to entice users in following it, nice publicity scheme i say), the browser is being marketed as “social” browser, with a heavy integration with facebook and twitter.
You can get Rockmelt from here, with the nifty price of giving away your facebook account information and further integrating it with your browser. You have to permit Rockmelt for seamless integration with your account, including your friend’s list, your wall, your photos, your activities and more. Privacy concerns, naturally arise. What if Rockmelt suddenly decide to generate ads for revenues and start stalking your data? In this regard, Rockmelt creators have given an in depth analysis for each of their permissions on their blog. Furthermore, they have assured users that no data of the kinds that incriminate privacy is stored, with privacy aspect being the top priority of RockMelt.
“We’re not running ad networks, so we’re not trying to target users in any way. We’re not storing personal information about users and what they do. We anonymize info about what users are doing. We never record info about users, what they’re doing online, searches they’re doing, anything like that.” said the creators.
We hope RockMelt to remain this way and dont break our trust on the ability of this awesome browser to respect our privacy.
Under the Hood:
After installing Rockmelt, and subsequently setting up the permissions, the first impression of Rockmelt can only be summed up as: Beautiful. Chrome users like me would feel right at home with Rockmelt’s interface. As i said before, Rockmelt can be summarized as “Enhancement of Chrome“, and it beautifully enhances Chrome in the layout aspect. All the basic look and feel of chrome is intact in Rockmelt. What’s new is the inclusion of Rails or “Edges” around the Top, Left and Right margin of the Browser window. These edges icons have been incorporated in such a way that the browser viewing space is not at all compromised. The left edge has all your facebook friends in neatly compiled vertical icons, the right edge has all the site feeds, applications and facebook/twitter feeds information and the top edge has a “Share” button to share your current webpage. The top edge also incorporates unique search box for easy google search. Also, any new facebook/twitter feed is shown via task bar from lower right corner of the screen. It displays the info and quietly vanishes away, completing its job of notifying users about new feeds. Bookmarks button is present right beside the URL window, with settings being accessed from the top left corner of the window. Overall, the look and aesthetic appeal of Rockmelt is palpable at it’s best. The looks can be further enhanced by using Chrome Themes from the Chrome Web Store. (as Rockmelt is basically Chrome). However, many themes are generally not compatible with Rockmelt as for now, and glitches are noticed. For example, when i installed a certain Rain Drops theme by Cyborg, i noticed the “backward/forward” button and “reload” button missing.
With Rockmelt still in early beta stage, it’s generally advisable not to install Themes as for now. We hope Rockmelt start there own Application/Theme center soon to fix this issue. The current theme is good, with light blue border encapsulating every edge. However, everyone loves a distinct visual variety in themes, to personify their own affection.
Tip: To uninstall theme, click on RockMelt (top right corner)>Options>Personal Stuff tab>And then click on the Reset to Default Themes under the Theme section.
1.) Facebook Integration: The powerful left edge:-
The idea of fully integrating Facebook/Twitter and other social networks within the browser is not new. Infact, competitor Flock has already tried such an attempt with their browser. Also, many 3rd party applications are available on the net that integrates facebook within the browser. However, a dedicated browser for the chief cause of simplifying social media needs is perhaps persistent with Rockmelt. Rockmelt seamlessly integrates two of social network’s giant, Facebook and Twitter. As stated before, the left edge contains all your friend’s list. This provides for nifty instantaneous chat with all your friends. The chat is a breeze, and feels more like instant messaging chat the kinds of YM. No more straining eyes on a small window. Also, if a blue border is surrounding your friend’s icon, it means that your friend has a recent activity under his account. In other words, you can view your friend’s entire recent activity from the chat window itself. The Recent Activity window displays everything, from pics to videos right from the chat window itself. Clicking on any of the links open the links in a new tab in the underlay window. This is very handy in keeping tabs with your friend’s activity. Other distinct feature is the ability to message your friend and write on your friend’s wall from the chat window itself. Also, hovering your mouse over your friend’s icon displays it’s current status update. Overall, the left edge is a complete package to write, chat, message and keep tabs with your friend. Further more, you can directly drag and drop any link on the friend’s icon you want to interact to send him/her the link on Chat, Message or Wall. It also provides a group by favorite friend’s list, with only favorite friends being displayed and available for chat in the window. Again, handy if you want to involve yourself with selected friends in a pool of large friend list. Also present on top of the left edge is the display profile of your account, from where you can go online/offline and update facebook/twitter status updates on the fly. However, more intricate features of Facebook Chat is missing. Chief among them is the inability to group chat. Also, the grouped list/friend list created in facebook is lost. Which means no longer you would be able to make selected annoying groups or friends list offline. Another factor is that for viewing the entire online friend list, you have to open up another overlay window by clicking on the bottom button of the left edge. As vertically, it would be practically impossible to incorporate your entire friends list. However, in facebook, a scroll bar is provided for this purpose. No scroll bars are however provided in the right edge. This doesnt hamper much of your progress, but many a times certain friends would go amiss because you were unable to view their online status (no “coming online” notification is provided!). We hope Rockmelt takes note of this and supplement a fully functional powerful facebook chat feature in it’s official iteration.
2.) Twitter Integration: The Application Right edge:-
Twitter is also integrated in the Rockmelt from the Application Edge in the right hand side of the browser window. Also present in this edge is the Facebook feed, news feed and streams from your favorite sites. Applications developed for Rockmelt and Google Chrome extensions are also present in this tab. Twitter integration, like facebook, is seamless. All you have to do is login from the nifty twitter button, and go on tweeting. The twitter button pops an overlay window displaying all your and your friends tweet. You can go on tweeting, retweeting and sharing the tweets. Like facebook recent activity window, Twitter Window displays every tweet complete with the pictures and videos. The URL are also completely displayed, unlike the twitter counterpart of shortened URLs. Nifty feature to go through entire tweetosphere in a glance. However, only official form of Retweeting is supported, with the ability to append your RTs missing. This right edge also contains news feed and RSS feeds from your favorite sites. The number of feeds are characterized by a small number on the feed icon, making it easier to ascertain the number of news feeds downpoured. One nifty feature is the ability to catch every RSS feed generated from the current window. Many a times, the app manager present in this edge turns green. This means that Rockmelt has captured a feed from the site, allowing for one click addition of feeds from your visited sites. It also categorises the captured feed based on your recent sites visited and your most visited sites.
Included again is the facebook news feed, which displays all your friend’s activity. You can also access your facebook profile from this edge, with the ability to view your notifications and wall. You cant however post on your wall or go on facebooking from the overlay window itself like twitter. You also cant control your facebook page from this window. As stated, the pane is for the feed only. Further, you have no control over viewing selected feeds (such as only status updates, photos or videos) of a few selected friends only. For a user with large friend list, it results in lots of unnecessary feed updates of which he might have no interest, such as application feed updates used by friends. Also, Top News feeds present in facebook is absent.
Lastly, the applications developed for Rockmelt are also included in this edge. Being from the Chrome scene, almost all of the Chrome’s extensions are supported by Rockmelt, and are present in this right edge. They can be controlled by the App Manager present in the edge. However, dedicated applications for RockMelt are in absence. They cant be said in not being in development, with the most recent being Youtube application. But we hope that with the official launch, several 3rd party applications will erupt for the Rockmelt scene.
3.) Search: The top Edge:
The Top edge has two distinct feature. The first one is the share button. It allows you to immediately share your current webpage to facebook and twitter with a pre-shortened link (for twitter). It’s a nice addition, as many web pages or interesting blogs warrant the share around. And not every blog or web page has “Share this” and “Tweet This” button. Another unique feature of Rockmelt is a innovative way of searching the net. Free of ads, whenever you search anything in the search box of the top edge, instead of opening up a new google window of search results, you get a column with the first ten results. You can then actually see the Web pages behind each result in the full browser window by tabbing through each result. This saves search time and is very handy for quick shuffling through the top results without having to open up 10 separate tabs.
However, the overlay search result window blocks certain area of the preloaded web page. Also, you cant scroll down into the loaded web window without having to fend off the result window (meaning, you have to search again after checking out the complete window). A minimize button in the overlay search result window would have solved the problem. Hopefully, RockMelt takes note of this. For most cases however, people are accustomed in searching from the URL box itself (as that’s the prime feature of Chrome). But this nifty search feature is a welcome addition. Just the missing feature is the ability to include other search engines such as wikipedia, yahoo etc. Rockmelt, by default supports only google search from the Search Box. Hopefully Rockmelt includes many diferent search engines by the time it officially launches.
4.) Other features and Notable bugs:
The other features of Rockmelt are more or less same as that of Chrome. The default window has more shortcuts this time, with the ability to view Recently closed tabs and Launching Chrome Applications. The settings is again borrowed that from Chrome, with the traditional ”zoom” button provided for visually challenging websites and other features such as cut, copy, paste, and incognito options. Other things present is the ability to enable/disable the edges altogether, along with ability to enable/disable the feed popup . You can even control the edges by specifying how the links are opened from the edge. Advanced features include Ad Blocker, Form Auto Fill and Web Page pinning. Proxy support, Gears support, SSL Certification and Automatic Translation are also provided. However, as it’s still in early beta stage, several bugs are present. Some times i saw my scroll bar in the browser absent (wonder what’s with Rockmelt and Scroll bars). Also while watching youtube videos, Adobe Flash tended to crash while streaming. Some times when i went offline, and then presented myself back online, i saw my friend list in the right edge disoriented in the sense that it wasnt divided by Online first/Offline later list. Instead it was cluttered with online offline friends mixs. Also, the original Facebook Home page worked extremely slow sometimes, especially in group chat. I had to close and reopen the facebook home page to fix this Twice my Rockmelt browser crashed owing to heavy usage and multitudes of tabs open. Also, i have noticed that Rockmelt tends to work slightly faster in Windows 7 rather then XP. But i guess that’s just me. Also, even if you close Rockmelt, you are still logged into facebook. To completely log out of facebook and exit the browser, you have to “Log out of Rockmelt” via Rockmelt settings button. Also, to completely remove Rockmelt from your system, you have to first unauthorize the RockMelt application in Facebook. This can be achieved by going through Account>Privacy Settings>Edit Settings (under Applications on bottom left)>Selecting Rockmelt and Rockmelt Beta icons>Remove.
Being a beta browser, download manager supports are not present in RockMelt. However, you can incorporate the internet’s most widely used download manager, Internet Download Manager into RockMelt in much the same way as you incorporate in Chrome. In any case, here are the steps:
INSTALLING IDM IN ROCKMELT:
1.) Get the latest version of IDM (i use IDM 6.05)
2.) Go to Downloads>Options.
3.) In the General tab, Click on “use advanced browser integration” checkbox. It will warrant a system reboot.
4.) After reboot, go back to Downloads>Options and click on “Add Browser” button.
5.) Put down the .exe location of RockMelt by checking out the target of RockMelt from Desktop (Right click on RockMelt desktop icon, and clicking on properties, then Find Target button). It’s generally: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\RockMelt\Application\Rockmelt.exe .
6.) Restart RockMelt, and voila! You are done. You can even download youtube videos. However, unlike Firefox, automatic naming wont be done in this case.
Having explored every nooks and crannies of Rockmelt in the first 12 hours of BETA review, i can safely conclude that RockMelt is definitely the browser of the future. It seamlessly integrates the social networking experience with the browsing experience in an unprecedented way. Attempts like this have been tried in the past with less successful Flock. But RockMelt demonstrates the ability to engineer the world of sharing your thoughts any time you wish. What is evident in RockMelt is the big change in browsing experience it’s bringing, by streamlining your social network and your news stream into one single window. This seamless integration of Facebook, Twitter and News Stream is the hallmark of Rockmelt. Rockmelt basically takes your entire social network with you, wherever you go in the internet world, your social network always follows you in Rockmelt. However, not every user wants to take their facebook with them whenever they access the net. All of this data flow might be daunting for some users though. It’s natural of a certain normal guy to be vindicated by the amount of streams, digital tweetings, pop up updates and “glare” of the friend list while all he is doing is filling up a Bank Transaction. Many others would feel distracted by this constant downpour of shared information. In short, Rockmelt biggest strength of complete Social Network Integration most possibly can be it’s biggest weakness and the reason for rejection due to Information Overload. In other browsers, you can atleast keep open up a separate facebook tab and limit or prevent your distractions by significant amount, as you no longer would be bombarded on the fly with news feeds and facebook pop ups. In this regard, you can always disable the edges and pop up feeds in Rockmelt itself, however no difference would arise then between Rockmelt and other old horse browsers. Ultimately, this “distraction” argument is pointless, as Rockmelt is a solid work of art. It’s a product that creates a whole new world under a single window. With it’s plethora of features, easy integration with facebook/twitter, great browsing speed, news feed updates and Chrome functionality, Rockmelt easily melts us facebook addict hearts. Certain bugs are evident, however we hope that patches and a proprietary release would remove many of the bugs and put certain requests on the bandwaggon such as Group Chat Support, Different Search Engines Support, Other Social Network Support besides Facebook/Twitter and Theme/Application center. To finally conclude, we can say that Rockmelt stands true on it’s word of “building your world right into your browser”.
~ by gravito on March 6, 2011.
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