Monday, 6 August 2012


Internet browsing is essential. Not only information are at the finger tips across the million of miles of cable networking between the portal across the gadgets around the world created a mesh work we knew as internet, but the pleasure of establishing a social network with Facebook and Twitter has been a tremendous phenomenon in recent time. The whole internet experience is incomplete if there isn't social networking and social networking isn't fun without an internet browser that does all the thinking and talking. There are connected by a tie of need for socializing, updating and sharing among the global 2 billion internet users.

RockMelt and Google Chrome look alike but differ in functionalities

If you are reading this, let GTW tells you another reason why you should ditch your Internet Explorer or to some extent the Mozilla Firefox. While Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4 beta are making some news over their improvements, the internet users are still skeptical. Both are still widely used because there are the gold standard browsers to be beaten. Around 2008, Google introduced Google Chrome web browser, entering the game with much hypes and positive reviews for those who have been marveled by its simplicity, faster browsing experience and great notch up in performance over the gold standard. IE remains popular among 89% of the Chinese users while Google Chrome is packing steady and healthy growth since inception. 

Now, enters another player - code name RockMelt. Launched about a fortnight ago, RockMelt raised the bar of social network and internet browsing to a step higher. RockMelt is a proprietary social media web browser developed by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria and backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. Anyone could have remembered how IE was almost beaten by Netscape, the reason it didn't happened that time was the dominant of Microsoft in helping IE to control the market share of 95%. That was history but the history can be re-written because RockMelt is great in many angles.

Upon the first look, there aren't much differences. Both Chrome and RockMelt are the true alternative and respectable replacement to IE. Both share the same smooth and silky Chromium interface with rounded edge and simplicity, as well as providing a larger browsing area with less toolbars to worry about. In other words, the layout is the equality for both. Any general opinions about both browsers are solely the opinions of the author. The author does not hold responsibility for any contradicting opinions from the readers.


Google Chrome layout: Chromium style - slick and simple, with variety of themes to choose on.
CHROME NOTES: Here's the comparison. First, from start up, Google Chrome is decorated with a variety of theme background that resembles Firefox since both were shared and developed by Google. The list of theme backgrounds are personal and an exquisite touch up to the browser from one artistic and abstract point of view. Other than that, the start up for Chrome is exquisite, organized thumbs and icons that arrange your favorite site ideally according to the frequency and usability. This feature has now expanded its wings to other popular browser but it all started here, while the advantage is that it is still slick and smooth.

RockMelt requires you to login before you are able to start using it. Facebook is the primary contact choice to begin with.

RockMelt resembles Chrome in many way - including the start up

ROCKMELT NOTES: In comparison, the start up for RockMelt requires the users to login into their Facebook account. To generalizes it up in a simpler sentence; RockMelt won't work if you are Facebook-blind or one who less enthusiast with the number one social networking site. Do not expect to login with Friendster or Myspace, but it is safe to assume that almost everyone has a Facebook account. However, once you are in, users are able to appreciate the same trace of Chromium taste on its start up. The icons are arranged in order and as organized as the Chrome.

1) Layout personal touch - CHROME (you can tune up your own backgrounds and themes from the same archive with Firefox while RockMelt does not have the distinguish feature yet or else it is just a copycat even if they do have one) - 2 marks
2) Layout usability and access - CHROME (If you do not have Facebook, which I think some may not have, this is not the thing for you. The problem with this RockMelt is that it increases the risk of your FB accounts get jacked, I think so) - 2 marks
3) Layout simplicity - ROCKMELT (RockMelt simplify the layout further by reducing the toolbars even more. At the same time, it adds two left and right sidebar for communication on social network. It looks cool after all and does not seems to distract) - 2 marks


Some of us may have spent hours and hours a day hooked up to Facebook. It is still the primary site for updating status, sharing some jokes or entertaining media, sending messages and to chat, or else for amusement with the Facebook games. I admit I Facebook a lot and there isn't a day I would missed it.

Google Chrome updates and chats on the same page. Statuses are however not complete and at times you might miss some others.

CHROME NOTES: Google Chrome functions as normal as possible. Type on the address bar and you are hooking in. A little bit of login and you are in. One of the most useful application on Facebook is to update your status. Head over to the status comment and you are sharing to hundreds or thousands of friends.

Updating statuses are easy with RockMelt. Right hand toolbar allows more thorough updates and simplify it. Note, I am not physically on Facebook page.

ROCKMELT NOTES: However, with the RockMelt, the hassles are simplify by the right hand side tool. Add Facebook to the edge, click on it and you can update your status right away. Please do not that the picture above shows that updates through FB is possible without even physically entering Facebook. Statuses updated and goes on for real. The right toolbar allows users to check on unread notifications and statuses without physically going into Facebook site.

Another upper-hand seen with RockMelt is that there are times the feeds on Google Chrome isn't complete. From my experience, while I am using Chrome to check on other's statuses, there are at times those left unnoticed. I realized that there are some differences on the feed timeline between Chrome and RockMelt, where the latter shows several unpublished statuses, unavailable when using the Chrome's feed.

1) Loading the complete feeds -  ROCKMELT (No doubt, there are always a differences between the Facebook updates on the Rockmelt and when using the normal web) - 2 marks
2) Responsiveness - CHROME (During the testing, there isn't much differences in terms of responsiveness in detecting new updates. Feeds are designed not for instant but rather it usually accumulates a few before the data are established for your notifications. However, I noticed that the RockMelt's updates are usually delayed by 2 to 5 minutes, but still has more detailed updates from silent friends.) - 2 marks
3) Concept - ROCKMELT (RockMelt is designed for distinguishing itself from normal web browser. The fact that it is ease for use is nevertheless astonishing. Rather than just hope in into your FB account, while not doing it in 'new tab' mode) - 2 marks
4) Practicality - CHROME (There isn't much to say besides you have to get use to the RockMelt's way) - 1 mark since it is not a big deal!! - 1 mark


Conventional web like Google Chrome - Facebook friends search is on the lower left on the Home page

Chat as usual with Google Chrome

CHROME NOTES: Conventionally, Facebook on normal browsers like Chrome allow you to see which particular friends are online at the moment. From Home, looking at the lower left site will indicates who's around for you to chat or direct message with. It is handy and just like any other browsers, you can go and comment or chat with them just by clicking on their names.

On RockMelt, go to the left hand toolbar and you will notice the friends list who appear online on Facebook. Optionally you can also run a search.

Once you found a friend, you can just type to connect. Notice again, I am not on Facebook physically.

ROCKMELT NOTES: With RockMelt, it is a whole different method. Again, without requiring you to access Facebook physically, you can chat and write on their Walls just a simple click. This time look at your left, you will notice a left hand tool bar with lots of friend's display picture in thumb nails. Finding friends is so easy, get them on and you can chat, write on the wall and send private message right away.

1) Loading the updated list of friends online -  ROCKMELT (I barely notice any changes on the normal web version of Facebook when it comes to finding people who are online. RockMelt is different and it ease you to find people on the stint of the left sidebar. Much subtle and convenient.) - 2 marks
2) Chatting experience - ROCKMELT (Chatting with RockMelt styles are pretty easy to do. Plus, the chatting box are created to distinguished between your conversation and your friend's. It is easier to differentiate and much alike MSN) - 2 marks
3) Concept - ROCKMELT (Just like updating status on point 2; RockMelt is designed for distinguishing itself from normal web browser. The fact that it is ease for use is nevertheless astonishing. Rather than just hope in into your FB account, while not doing it in 'new tab' mode) - 2 marks 
4) Practicality - CHROME (There isn't much to say besides you have to get use to the RockMelt's way) - 1 mark since it is not a big deal!!


ROCKMELT is in lead but can it holds itself when taking into account of Twitter? (EARLY SPOILER: Not quite!) This is the end of part one analysis on the differences between Google Chrome and RockMelt. Actually both are Chromium based and there aren't much to choose from if you consider the nature of the simple layout itself. What defines RockMelt into its own zone is that it is unique and it is a new whole experience of social networking. Stay tune for Part 2 where we covers the functionality in terms of Twitter, overall performances and technical aspects. STAY TUNE.

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