RockMelt makes an iPhone grab

RockMelt launches for the iPhone, making its particular mix of social networking and Web browsing mobile.

Social networking Web browser RockMelt expanded its reach to the iPhone today, debuting a browser that synchronizes the desktop versions' features to your iPhone. These include the new Read Later option for saving URLs to be read in the future, as well as RockMelt's full Twitter and Facebook management tools.

RockMelt for the iPhone opens shared links on the fly.

(Credit: RockMelt)

This means that in addition to Twitter and Facebook basics, such as retweeting and wall posting, you can add photos, geotag, and open links on the fly. This last feature is unique to RockMelt for iPhone. When you tap an update from a friend on either service that contains a link, the text of the update will appear at the top of the iPhone and the URL will render below it.

Some features that are in the desktop version have not been ported to the iPhone one. There's no tabbed browsing, nor is there a private browsing option.

When demonstrated last week at CNET's San Francisco offices by RockMelt CEO Eric Vishria, the feature appeared smooth and was striking for cutting out the extra step of having to tap the URL to see it. However, the process also potentially opens up security risks with shortened URLs that haven't been verified. Vishria said that there will be a feature in the first update to the iPhone app that will allow users to expand URLs on the fly. The update is expected about a week after the app's initial release, which is itself expected within a few days. Visria cautioned that he had yet to receive a specific date and time for the launch from Apple.

Vishria added that RockMelt is seeing interesting behavior among its users, which he counted in the hundreds of thousands. He noted that 65 percent of RockMelt users check two or more RSS feeds, and that 41 percent of its users are high school and college students around the world. That means that a majority of RockMelt users are invested in a technology that, Vishria said, many average browser users would be hard-pressed to define. "The feedback is clear that many do not know what RSS is, just what it does."

RockMelt expects to release a version soon that's optimized for the iPad, and is currently "looking at" an Android version.

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