RockMelt social browser comes to the iPad, offers up news stories tailored to your interests

Remember RockMelt The "social web browser"? The name doesn't come up often, especially when we talk about conventional browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari. Well, rest assured, the startup is still alive and kicking: after releasing an iPhone app earlier this year, it's introducing an iPad version as well. As ever, the browser is built around social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but instead of emphasizing chat and status updates, it's all about using your social network to help curate a newsfeed that matches your interests. In other words, you could do a traditional web search and sift though the results, but if you sign in with your Facebook or Twitter handle what you'll actually see are stories that RockMelt thinks might appeal to you. In theory, the browser will learn, over time, what you like and what you don't, and at any point you can add specific news sources as you would with an RSS feed. As an added bonus, the experience of reading articles from within the app is actually quite smooth, but that's neither here nor there.

And, of course, what would a social browser be without the ability to share cat videos? In addition to sharing things with people directly (i.e., through email), you can use so-called emoticodes like "lol," "want," and "aww" to comment on a story without actually commenting on it. (Think of it as the equivalent of liking something on Facebook: it's less intrusive than posting random links on your friend's wall.) The app is available for download today, and we're told versions for other platforms are in development. In the meantime, check out the screenshots after the break to get a basic for the layout.