RockMelt, a content aggregation and discovery service is launching its Android app which aims at delivering a user experience that is tailor-made for Android devices which often feature large displays (check our Galaxy Mega 6.3 Review to see what “large display” mean). Instead of simply porting its iOS app to Android, RockMelt has developed a new user-interface (UI) that works very well with a single hand, regardless of the screen-size. The principle is to make the UI appear upon a press & hold command, with all the controls laid out around the user’s finger to speed up the next interaction. I have seen this concept used efficiently to save mouse motion in complex computer assisted design (CAD) programs, and it works beautifully in RockMelt. When you don’t need it, the navigation just fades away.
When you get notified that your stream has new items at the top, you can quickly go there to check things out, but you can also come back right where you were in one tap. I wish that Facebook would copy that feature for their app since this is a remarkably useful thing to have in any app that has a stream of content.
If you are not familiar with RockMelt, people can use it to follow their news feeds and social media channels. It has an internal social aspect since other RockMelt users can follow you, and if you have logged in with your Facebook or Twitter account, you can you friends’ social updates as well. When I talked to RocketMelt co-founder and CTO Tim Howes, he told me that this service should be a “river of content” in which people can always find something interesting. It’s actually true: by simply signing up with my Twitter account, the service was able to present a very pertinent stream of content, no setup required — unless you want to fine-tune your preferences.