As promised, the folks behind the RockMelt web browser have released a [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rockmelt/id416256246?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”rockmelt” text=”mobile version for iOS”]. The key feature is RockMelt’s tight integration with Facebook, allowing you to quickly and easily share anything you view in the web browser with your Facebook friends. But the browser has a few other things going for it as well including an integrated feed reader that lets you quickly see the latest updates from Twitter, Facebook, and dozens of web sites.
The browser features a toolbar that offers different functions depending on what you’re doing. If you’re reading a web site, you can bookmark a page for later viewing, bookmark it, or share it with you’re contacts. If you’re using the built-in Twitter feed reader you can post status updates, respond to updates from your contacts or retweet a message.
The feed reader feels a bit half baked at the moment though, as it’s easy to add popular sites such as Engadget, Huffington Post, CNN, Gizmodo, or Lifehacker from a list, but I didn’t see an easy way to add your own feeds.
Some of the buttons are also a little confusing. When you view a web page, there are forward and back buttons at the bottom of the screen which let you navigate through web pages. But there’s also a “back” button at the top of the screen. If you tap this by accident, you leave the current web site and have to re-enter the URL to return.
The retweet button in the Twitter view is also located exactly where you’d expect the back button to appear, and since it looks a lot like a back button, it took me a while to realize that there was a retweet button.
You can enter a URL or a search term in the navigation bar and then click a button to let the browser know whether you’ve entered a URL or a search term — but the text on the keyboard says “search” even when you enter a URL. It should probably say “go.”
Overall RockMelt for iOS still feels like a work in progress. But the browser certainly offers promise — especially for users who regularly share web content with their Twitter and Facebook contacts. The fact that you can synchronize the mobile and desktop versions of RockMelt certainly doesn’t hurt either — at least if you use the desktop browser.
RockMelt is available as a [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rockmelt/id416256246?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”rockmelt” text=”free download from the App Store”].