Rockmelt, the Facebook browser that launched with much fanfare (and mucho criticism) in November 2010, has been quietly fixing bugs and is now slowly rolling out updates to its beta users. One of those updates is a brand-new YouTube (s GOOG) application, which would well allow you to watch more video, which is a massive (and fun) time waster during the workday.
I for one have not given up on Rockmelt; It is a simpler and better way of using Facebook Chat, which is Facebook’s most important feature for me — plus,it also overcomes the inherently slow speed of Facebook pages. Since it is based on Chromium, it is also pretty standards-compliant. The new updates to the browser use Chromium 9, which puts it on par with other browser offerings based on that engine.
The new updates also fix a lot of bugs -– about 70 of them — and increase the speed of the browser. One of the new features enables Mac users to now import Chrome bookmarks, and RockMelt has also made memory use more efficient.
That’s all good, but the real news to me is a cool little YouTube app RockMelt has developed for the platform. This is a big step for the little company. They also allow you to add RSS feeds to the browser –- for instance, once you add a GigaOM feed, it shows up as a button on the right-hand side and a simple click on the icon helps you scan headlines.
Rockmelt is basically turning web services into apps, which have their own unique experiences. I am an online video junkie — why else would I start NewTeeVee? — and I watch an inordinate amount of videos, especially music videos, which are now part of my playlists and often are playing in the background.
According to Rockmelt CEO Eric Vishria, I am not alone: There are millions of folks who create their playlists on YouTube and listen to music that way. Vishria and Tim Howes co-founded the company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif.
“What we’re trying to do with the YouTube App is make it super easy for users to consume their video content,” Vishria added. “This is where people are spending a lot of their time, so we’re just cutting out all of the middle stuff of them having to go to YouTube and search for their videos or playlists.” In other words, it is making it easy for the folks to do things they like to do on YouTube -– like viewing videos and managing their playlists.
The RockMelt YouTube app is one way of turning those Playlists into a television station –- a bespoke MTV channel, so to speak. In addition to allowing you to watch one-off videos, the YouTube app allows you to play videos continuously, which I think is pretty cool.
“The YouTube App is just the beginning of what we envision for the browser as we continue to add more non-feed, interactive apps that support way people use the Web,” Vishria added.
How it works?
Under the gear icon, you can choose to login. If you sign in with your YouTube account, you can also load playlists, add videos to playlists loop and shuffle videos in playlists, and save videos to watch later. In addition to watching your favorite videos, the YouTube App also lets you:
- Play videos continuously
- Search while playing videos
- Share and rate videos quickly
- See your recent video searches
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