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I have been playing around with RockMelt for about 24 hours and there is no going back to Safari or Chrome. It has the speed and extensions of Chrome with two very important additions:

The big share button: I have pored over the extensions on Chrome and bookmarklets across the web to find a one-click mechanism for sharing any web page using a protocol selected at message creation time. In its current build, RockMelt has it for Facebook and Twitter. Sharing on the web is effortless now.

The second search box: The second search box seems initially duplicative of the Awesome Bar, but it is in fact much more powerful. Type in a friend’s name and a chat box will appear. Type in a query and navigate the results one by one. The instant search results remain in the foreground while your selected page loads in the background. This user input dynamic is much better than the current Google Instant implementation because the product designers realized most of my time spent searching is not waiting for the query to return but filtering through candidate websites to find the right one.

Also of note, the stream presentation for Facebook and Twitter are efficient and beautiful. The chat bar and app bar (or Edges as RockMelt has dubbed them) save a few clicks here and there. But, they are expensive in terms of real estate and attention so I keep them hidden. 

GMail integration is the feature I keep wishing were present but I will wait patiently for it. RockMelt has many of the features that make Ubiquity and Quicksilver great; for power users on the web, this is the browser of choice.

 

The possibilities for RockMelt loom large. RockMelt could be naturally integrated into Chrome OS as the social layer for netbooks. With a modified UI, it could translate to mobile. The platform could be syndicated through extensions to other browsers or could present Facebook a powerful way of extending Connect to the desktop.

The first browser with integrated identity, RockMelt will draw the next battlefield for the web where search engines and social networks will meet and compete. 

 

 

 

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