by Rob Williams on October 24, 2005 in Windows
There’s a new browser in town, and it has great potential if you use RSS feeds and other social networking sites regularly. Based on the Firefox browser, it should prove just as secure. Let’s check it out, and see if it has a chance to battle Firefox and Opera.
Since Blogging has become something of a phenomenon, it’s one feature that will be quite welcomed to people who use the supported services. At the time of writing, Flock supports Blogger, WordPress, Movable Type and Typepad. More will be added in the future though.
Really, there is no way posting a blog could be made any easier. Simply click the feather pen button, and you are ready to go. You even have the ability to specify tags, format your blog and even handle multiple blogs. If you have a Flickr account, you even have the ability to drag and drop your uploaded photos directly into your blog.
As mentioned already, I do not have a blog, but there is no doubt that this is the tool I would be using to do so.
Flock is definitely a browser with goals, and they implement them well. This will not be a fly-by-night browser, it has huge support already, and a staff of over 10 people. Since it’s based on the Firefox browser, you will already feel at home if you use that already. Learning how the new features work takes a matter of 10 minutes; it’s very straight-forward.
If you write a blog, then Flock is for you. Unless you have already become quite accustomed to a certain extension of plugin in another browser, Flock makes it so much easier. I don’t even write a blog, but almost want to just to use the program. It’s made even easier with built-in Flickr support.
Even though there are many RSS readers available, it’s nice to have one built into a browser. The developers have done a great job of doing this, and I like the way it works. Being able to visit a site and instantaneously switch to a formatted RSS view is a huge plus.
The only learning curve I found with Flock was the bookmarking. In the end, I’d rather have my bookmarks saved the same way as before. Sadly, I could not even find an “Import Bookmarks” option, which would have been quite welcomed. I have many bookmarks, and don’t care to have all of them on del.icio.us.
One final thing that may help your decision is extension support. I was happy to see that a few of my favorite extensions are supported, including Web Dev, Noscript and ForecastFox. You can check out the full support here. It’s actually quite easy to get an extension to work with Flock. All it takes are a few lines of code as seen here. Since it’s painless, I’m sure we will see full support of the most popular extensions in no time.
Overall, Flock is an enjoyable browser to use if you already make use of the services mentioned above. If you do not use any of those, there is really no sense of using Flock, as Firefox (Or Opera) will prove to be all you need. Without a doubt though, Flock does an amazing job of integrating the available services, and performs well.
Because it’s based off of Firefox, it’s more secure than Internet Explorer, and it will continue to be based on updated Firefox source code to retain the security level. To check out the early version of Flock as used in this article, grab a download here, which is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. I look forward to seeing what this browser can bring to the table with later versions.
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