The unfairness of it all – was all I could think when I had to access the Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal via the web after getting accustomed to finding it on an iPad app. Those poor people who don’t have tablets and smart phones I thought – were seeing the web as second-class citizens. After all, the apps I have on my various devices are constantly being upgraded – allowing me to do things like download articles for reading on an airplane where there is no Internet access.
But if social networking is the most interesting class of apps on our mobile devices then the new browser from RockMelt may be the social media integration app which masquerades as a browser on your PC. You see, this new creation which has the blessing and backing of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen is based on Chromium – just like Google’s Chrome browser but in addition it interfaces with numerous social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allowing the browser to take on an aura of being an OS – running everything you need access to on your PC.
RockMelt Demo Video
As always – I am concerned about the splintering of the Internet which I referred to as the Splinternet some years back. The concern of course is making developers come up with apps and solutions for various app stores and the web. And even developing for the web is complex these days as you need to worry about devices which run Silverlight or just Flash or just HTML 5.
But it seems at this point anyway, RockMelt – with its tabs along the left and right allowing you to rapidly check in on your social networks is augmenting the web in a positive, splinter-free fashion. Still, browser compatibility has become a royal pain for me as apps like CNBC Plus only work well on Internet Explorer and other apps I have run well only on Firefox, etc.
I am looking forward to giving RockMelt a whirl. I don’t expect it to support the various Firefox extensions I use – but perhaps if it is good enough – and a slew of extensions which approximate the functionally I need are developed – I could consider using it regularly. Facebook had a hand in its development and you need a Facebook account to use it. This may bothersome from a privacy perspective and I wouldn’t blame people for their concern but if you can get past this issue – integrating your web surfing and social networking more tightly is obviously a logical step towards the the future.