It was almost eight months ago that Flock released the developer version of their Mozilla Firefox based web browser. Just recently they have released the first public beta version of their browser. Flock is a browser that is based on the Firefox code base. Like Firefox, Flock has tabs, a web search box in the upper right-hand corner and bookmarks, but it also has additional features built in to “enhance” the browsing experience. Some of these tools include photo integration with photo services, bookmarking integration, a RSS reader, enhanced searching, and a blogging tool.
Flock’s integrated blogging tool works with most major blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress. The blog interface has a spell-check capabilities and allows for the easy addition of tags. The RSS reader makes saving posts easy and gives all sorts of options for reading what is new, allowing you to bookmark and blog with one easy click. While the RSS reader works well it suffers from the same problem has many other RSS readers, the inability to synchronize feeds across different computers and platforms. Flock’s bookmarking works with both Del.icio.us and Shadows allowing bookmarks and tags to be easily added. Photo integration works with both Flickr and Photobucket. For those that are heavy Flickr users this is where the browser really shines. Photos can be uploaded by dragging them into the browser and photos can be added to any web page (that accepts html) by dragging the photo directly unto the web page.
Flock still has a way to go before convincing me of the need to switch from Mozilla Firefox. While the look and feel of Flock is nicer than Firefox itself, Flock still feels to me like Firefox with a few extensions added on and a couple of bookmarks on the Bookmarks Toolbar. Nevertheless, this release goes a long way to fulfilling Flock’s original promise.