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Rockmelt for the iPad App Review

Rockmelt for the iPad App Review

You may already be familiar with Rockmelt as it established itself as a Mac browser some years ago but now it is back and has been retooled as an iPad app. Rockmelt is an attempt by its developers to provide an all-inclusive hybrid for surfing the internet, keeping up with the news and of course social networking, created for any iPad user who spends a lot of time online. It certainly has its work cut out for it since any one of these elements is hard to pull off effectively, especially since there are already so many well-established rivals. But it does a good job of rising to the challenge and is worth checking out. Rockmelt is currently free from the App Store.

When you first fire up Rockmelt you can sign straight into it either using your Facebook or Twitter account and once that is done your screen will be flooded with a tiled view of photo-heavy links that have been posted by your friends and acquaintances on their social network accounts. However it is much more attractive here in this layout and you can read whatever catches your eye by tapping it. As well as reading, you can also leave a comment for your friends on them and save the articles on a handy sidebar, where they will be available even when you are offline. In addition to this, the app also has a function very similar to RSS and you can subscribe to receive further articles from these sources.

The web browsing ability has been cleverly integrated into this and you will notice a bar at the top where you can type in URLs. It will take you wherever you want to go quickly and smoothly when you enter the address but it also doubles as a search engine, by way of Google, when you enter a keyword. It balances this out nicely with the reading aspect and you can browse at will while reading your articles. There is one flaw to the browsing though as it requires you to type in an entire address. A partial URL will be treated as a web search even if you have provided an adequate amount of it.

It is also a shame that it does not link up to any other social networks. Facebook and Twitter may be the biggest ones but there are many more out there that the app would benefit from using, but hopefully subsequent updates will sort this out. It is also a pain that you can only log in with one or the other at any time. There are other flaws too as it seems to automatically subscribe to feeds, whether you want to or not.

Despite these flaws, Rockmelt remains a decent app that has a lot of potential. At this stage it is hardly essential but it has a lot going for it and with some improvements it could become something truly great. It is worth a look in any case and you might want to keep an eye on future updates.

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