With increasingly more information on the Internet, the question has become: How can I filter through all the uninteresting stuff to get to the things I really care about? Rockmelt delivers an endless stream of content — so you can explore as much as you want — but also allows you to personalize your stream.
Additionally, you can take advantage of the social media aspects, including commenting on stories and sharing the best ones with friends. Click “more” to take a look at what Rockmelt offers.
To get the most out of Rockmelt, you’ll need to create an account. Fortunately, this is easy, since you can allow the app to connect with your Facebook or Twitter account. I chose the latter, so Rockmelt imported my username. Next, the app will ask to access your contacts, for which you can give or deny permission.
After initial setup, you can begin customizing your content right away. Since I linked Rockmelt to my Twitter account, the app presented me with a list of all the users I was already following, such as online publications like Lifehacker, Lonely Planet, Huffington Post, Refinery29 and others.
Clicking on any one of these will bring up all the content from that particular user. For example, when I click on Lonely Planet I can see the number of followers and reactions. As I scroll through all the stories, I can see the date each one was posted (in the lower left), as well as quickly comment on any I have a reaction to.
Tapping on the chat icon in the lower right calls up a menu of colorful buttons intended to provide you with some reaction options, including “like,” “lol,” “want,” “aww,” “hmm” and “wtf?” You can also tap the chat bubble to type in your own comment and post it to Rockmelt, or tap the forward icon to print or copy the story, or share it via mail, message, Twitter or Facebook.
Content on Rockmelt is displayed in tidy tiles, ranging from stories to pictures to videos, and can be displayed both vertically and horizontally. The stories are all impressively ad-free and you can refresh content by pulling down on the screen.
Originally designed for the iPad, the team behind Rockmelt reportedly put significant effort into making sure navigation on the iPhone wouldn’t limit the functionality or overall experience of the app.
If you’re like me and tend to cover a lot of ground while surfing the web — that is to say, you tend to find more great content than you actually have time to enjoy in a single sitting — Rockmelt can help you manage that habit.
As I’m scrolling through a user’s stories, all I have to do is swipe a story to the right to store it in my sidebar. I can then come back to these any time I want — even if I’m offline — to enjoy them.
In fact, navigation in Rockmelt is extremely simple, smooth and intuitive: If you want to close something, just swipe it to the left to hide it; if you want to read more, tap on it; and if you want to save it, swipe it to the right. The gestures only take a few minutes to learn, and then once you have them under your belt, you can quickly find and bookmark what interests you.
A cool Rockmelt feature is the ability to use it across both your iPhone and your iPad (as long as you’re signed into your Rockmelt account on both). For example, I like to browse on my iPhone and check on the latest stories from my favorite users. I can swipe these into my sidebar and save them for later, when I might have more time to sit down with my iPad and catch up on reading.
Searching for something in Rockmelt is easy, too. Type a keyword into the search bar at the top of the screen and the app will search the Internet, plus all the content you specifically follow, meaning the results of your search are likely to be that much more relevant.
Additional features you may want to explore in Rockmelt include the Most Popular category (there you can see which stories have garnered the most reactions from Rockmelters), and your Settings (accessed from your sidebar).
Everything I’ve touched upon here is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what Rockmelt can do and how much easier it can make browsing the web for you.
Personally, Rockmelt will be replacing my other news/web apps because I’m in love with the easy gesture-driven navigation; it makes saving stories for later just so convenient.
In the future I’d like to see integration of more content sources, but since Rockmelt already works with a number of online publications and blogs that I already read, this won’t necessarily be a dealbreaker for me if it takes a while for them to add more.