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Rockmelt social browser goes thumb-crazy for iPhone


The Rockmelt "social browser" has been on quite a ride over the past few months. It transitioned from a desktop tool to an iPad app, giving Apple's tablet users a graceful way to browse, share and enjoy their favorite sites.

The mobile browsing experience described by Harry McCracken as "a little as if Safari and Flipboard had a baby together, and it came out looking like Pinterest" is expanding to the smaller screen. Today Rockmelt launches version 2.1 of its app, now universal for both iPad and iPhone.

Rockmelt's core feature is its "endless river of the Web" approach to browsing, which is designed to bring you the sites and stories you want (learning your preferences over time, naturally) without a lot of extraneous clutter. You can also quickly share and "emote" on the items that resonate with you -- it's like the BuzzFeed of mobile browsers.

On the iPhone, the browsing look and feel from the iPad version has been subjected to what the company calls "the tyranny of the thumb." Everything you're likely to want to do -- save a tab (swipe right), close a view (swipe left), sharing or emoting (a tap), etc. -- can be accomplished with one digit. The tablet and phone instances of the app also synchronize betwixt themselves, so your browsing progress transfers from one to the other.

Rockmelt is free on the App Store. If you log in with your social creds (Twitter or Facebook), the app will use the links and sites posted by your friends as the seed sites for your initial river view. Otherwise you can add sources from Rockmelt's curated lists or from anywhere on the Internet. You can preview the app in the video below.

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