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Flock Web Browser Review

Andy Boyd, IDM
Marketing Manager

Flock has been in the news recently, so I decided to give it a try...

I spent a few days using it. It was tough to use simply because I am conditioned to click on my trusty blue and orange Firefox icon. ALT+TABBING through my open apps to get to my browser was a challenge too... but, for the purpose of exploration, I managed to overcome my current habits.

Feed Reader

I really liked the feed reader. I'm addicted to the one I currently use, because I can sync my feeds online on multiple computers, but I could always create an online feed account - which I believe Flock supports.

The benefit of the built-in Feed Reader is that I have one less application I have to open up at the beginning of the day, which is nice too. Oh, and of course, as you might expect... The feeds are marked as seen when you read them. I can't live without that....

Flock

The feedbar is pretty handy. I used a similar extension in Firefox before I stumbled upon my current feed reader.

Flock

 

Social Browser (Accounts and Services)

Since Flock calls itself "The Social Web Browser", I wanted to see what types of features it had for social sites. My first shot at using the Facebook integration didn't work, but after upgrading to the current version (at the time of writing this 1.1.4) it worked!

Flock

I don't use Facebook all that much, but if I did... Flock would definitely be my new browser of choice. Flock does an excellent job of inundating you with features to make it easier to use Facebook. The photo stream and people sidebar are great. I tested out the Photo Uploader, simply fantastic!

Assuredly, the other services Flock integrates with are similarly useful - I just don't happen to use them all. I won't bore you with the details, but I integrated Flock with a few other accounts and it was really fast and easy.

 

Email

The email integration is a great feature, I really liked the quick access from the toolbar. I also really liked the share current web page and compose message, these are 2 shortcuts that I would use frequently.

Flock

The "share this link via email" button on the browser is also great.

Flock

 

Web Clipboard

The Web Clipboard was my favorite feature. I am always copying/pasting into text files as a method of tracking "notes". The web clipboard is a great way to save web-based content for future use.

Flock

The best thing about this feature is that you can email and blog the snippets.

Flock

 

Blog

The blogging feature is another great feature because it allows you to quickly post articles, links, and other items of interest to your blog. Any active blogger would enjoy the convenience of this feature.

Flock

 

Overall thoughts....

After using Flock for a while, a few things really stood out to me:

  • The look of the UI and their overall graphic design is very appealing.
  • The social networking/services integration.
  • Email integration - excellent!
  • The Web Clipboard
  • Apparently, after reading more about Flock, many Firefox extensions work in Flock. For me, I wouldn't be able to make the switch unless some extensions made the migration too...

A few things I didn't like:

  • Startup time is slower than other browsers, but I'm sure it's becasuse of the added functionality.
  • I can't tell you how many "Flock noticed this site has (fill in the blank), would you like to integrate it into (fill in the blank)". This drove me crazy... But it's all part of customization I guess, after using it for a while, I took care of the most of the prompts, so this really isn't a show stopper.

I think the editors from Cnet said it best:

Even though it's resource-heavy, Flock is the way to go if Twittering, Facebooking, or YouTubing is how you spend most of your online time.

My personal opinion is that Flock seems to be a great browser. Certainly, as advertised, Flock is the browser to use if you are into social networking, blogging, etc. I don't know that I would use it in my daily work because it makes it very easy to get distracted online... but, I think it's worth a try at home!

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Jim Summer
Guest post
Comment
Flockin' A Right
Reply #1 on : Sat July 19, 2008, 01:04:25
Hi,
I have been using Flock for a few months now. I love it! I like the sidebar integration with the social sites the best, also, the fact that it runs off the Firefox engine is awesome. I still use Firefox for development and testing etc (as well as IE), but Flock has become my browser of choice these days... loads up pretty darned fast too!
Thank you,
Jim Summer
http://tentonweb.com/

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