Flock - A Firefox beater? - gHacks Tech News

Flock - A Firefox beater?

I wrote a really long review on my blog recently on Flock, the community browser and thought I'd share some of my findings with you guys. Flock is basically a Mozilla based browser, much like the new Netscape was, but it offers a lot more, especially in terms of social site integration.

It recognizes a lot of social sites like Youtube, Facebook, Del.icio.us and integrates these sites, allowing you to navigate them using the browser interface. A great example of this is the Flock toolbar, which has a small icon for people. By default this shows you a sidebar with your registered social sites, along with the people associated with them. If you have new friend requests, the icon turns red, giving you a cool visual indication.

Flock also supports bookmarking to your favorite sites automatically, it has an awesome web clipboard that recognizes links, pics and text, a great RSS reader, much like Google Reader and it is riddled with small but handy features everywhere. All Firefox extensions have worked for me so far, but some people do report that a large number of extensions slow Flock down more.

Flock browserThere is a full blog editor in there which works fine for simpler entries and for most bloggers, but for the pros it won't be enough. It is able to post, but I couldn't get it to select categories for me, only tags. If you have a simple private blog though it will work great.

All in all I favor Flock over Firefox, now that I am using a lot of these social sites. A Flock rep told me that once Firefox 3 is out, they will also change their version and Flock will be built on the new Firefox, so that's something to look forward to. On the negative side there are some more sites that could be built in like Digg for example, which is a mystery why it has been left out. I see a lot of potential here just waiting to be developed, I do hope it will be!





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    Comments

    1. JamiroPt said on March 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm
      Reply

      Well, i’ve decided to test myself this web browser, and indeed it’s fast and it’s got a good design.

      The only problem, that i’ve depared with, is that when we insert some add-ons used in firefox, this get’s very dizzy itself.

      Since it’s based in firefox this kind of behaviour shouldn’t happen.

    2. Daniel said on March 3, 2008 at 2:39 am
      Reply

      Hey JamiroPt

      All I’ve used so far worked, but the oficial statement of Flock on this matter (they have it somewhere on the homepage) is that most extensions should work, but some might not. That’s sort of the gist of it.

      I think they use FF 1.5 as the base, hence the incompatibility, but once it’s out, they will use FF 3, that should solve most issues.

    3. Evan Hamilton said on March 3, 2008 at 4:03 am
      Reply

      Hey Daniel,

      Thanks for the great post. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the coming months and I think you’ll be very happy with what you see. :)

      A quick point of clarification: We’re currently based off of Firefox 2 (and will be moving to Firefox3 after it’s out). Unless they have to do with tabs or favorites, most extensions should work. That said, even in Firefox having too many extensions can cause performance issues.

      Flock on,

      Evan Hamilton
      Flock Community Ambassador
      evan at flock dot com

    4. rruben said on March 4, 2008 at 12:34 am
      Reply

      I immediately noticed by the style that this article wasn’t written by Martin, haha. Having that said you gave us a great tip though.

      I think that this browser is great for people with a widescreen monitor but not for people with a smaller one, because of the sidebar. Anyway, I will give it a try.

      EDIT
      I have just installed Flock and I must take back what I told about the sidebar. The sidebar is only visible if you want it to be, so there is no problem for smaller screens :p. And it also has a much cooler default style then FF has.

    5. Koselara said on March 5, 2008 at 12:24 am
      Reply

      I actually read something a while back, in an official blog, that the Firefox team is going to be working on new built-in social networking site features in the near future — bringing them a lot closer to Flock’s focus. I can’t remember if the idea was to actually merge with Flock, or simply to cover similar functions. (I just didn’t like the idea of them bogging Firefox down with code to handle services I don’t use, rather than letting us pick/choose extensions on our own based on our needs.)

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