Rockmelt social browser has been available on the iPad for nearly two months now and today the team refreshed the app, adding the all-new iPhone and iPod touch experience. Rockmelt version 2.1 is available now as a universal binary supporting all form factor iOS devices natively. On the iPhone, the program boasts a design “optimized for the thumb alone” (they must have watched Apple’s iPhone commercials) while offering the familiar feature set.
You’ll still enjoy a Pinterest-like streaming interface with scrollable tiles and navigate your way around the app via gestures. As a bonus, the app keeps all your Rockmelt copies across different devices in sync, just like Google’s Chrome browser does…
The idea behind Rockelt is simple: instead of visiting a bunch of sites to keep tabs on what interests you, the app invites you to subscribe to blogs, web sites and social profiles.
Once you’ve added your sources, Rockmelt presents your news in a continuous, scrollable feed of updates. And in order to help with that one-thumb navigation, the team “introduced new gestures with the idea that you only have one digit to work the whole app”, Rockmelt co-founder Tim Howes tells TechCrunch.
These include closing a story by swiping left, which works better than using a two-finger pinch gesture or trying to hit the Back button in the topmost left corner of the iPhone 5’s tall display. If you want to save a story, just swipe right. And with synch now part of the experience, any saved story instantly becomes available across your other iOS devices.
Another interesting feature: Rockmelt downloads images in lower resolution unless you’re on Wi-Fi, which is nice if your cellular data cap is concerning you.
Here’s your changelog for Rockmelt version 2.1.
• performance improvements to help stories load faster
• sleeker tiles and fun animations:
• new gesture – swipe any open page to the left to close – just like hiding tiles (swiping to close will also remove kept items from your sidebar)
• new content indicator – lets you know when there is new stuff, without disturbing what you are currently viewing
• back button – tapping the back button returns you to the exact same spot
• more emoting fun
• more space for notifications
• faster content loading and smoother scrolling
• people like Liking and LOL’ing and Hmm’ing and Aww’ing great stuff so we made that easier, faster and more fun with an entirely new iPhone-specific interface
• new tile and sidebar designs optimized for iPhone 5
• turn your iPhone sideways for a special surprise 🙂
• cleaner look, more room for your content
• navigation hides away completely so there is more room for your content
• redesigned sidebar lets you see more saved items and notifications
• faster initial startup to get you to content
• new tiles load as you scroll down even faster
• smoother scrolling
• swipe a tile to the right to keep a story for later in your sidebar
• swipe a tile to the left to remove a story from your stream
• tap the Rockmelt “R” to return to your home stream and we’ll keep your previous scroll position. Tap the “R” again to go back to the top
• plus, tons of speed improvements and bug fixes
Rockmelt doesn’t cost a dime and is optimized for the iPhone 5. It also works on the iPhone 3GS or later, third-gen iPod touch and up and iPads.
Note you’ll need iOS 6 to use Rockmelt.
If you’ve already tried the app on your iPhone, share your initial impressions in the comments.