Flock, a “social web browser”, is an interesting contrast to, per se, Google’s recently released Chrome browser. Chrome’s design philosophy is remove the browser, as much as possible, from the browsing experience. Flock, on the other end, offers tools to mesh itself into your web experience: social networking and media integration, RSS reader, email checker, blog editor, and image uploader.
This week Flock released a major update bringing it to version 2.0. Based out of Redwood City, CA and Victoria, BC, Flock has come a long way since it’s introduction in 2005. Flock has always been based on Firefox technology, and the most notable new inclusion is the Firefox 3 engine. The speed improvement is noticeable from the get go, and Flock now also includes Firefox’s autocompleting “Awesome Bar”. Other new additions include theme support, integration with MySpace, and Media RSS support for subscribing to media feeds.
Ask most Firefox users to switch browsers and they’ll exclaim “but not without my extensions!” In this new version, the development team have knocked down this large barrier to adoption: Flock now supports Firefox extensions. Previously extensions had to be written specifically for Flock and only a handful were available. This change now opens the browser to the thousands of extensions that Firefox users enjoy.
The browser has become the most used app on any desktop. While Flock’s approach might not please everyone, I know photographers and bloggers that love its features and swear by it. If you’ve debated on trying it in the past, maybe now is the time to give it a shot; after all, now you can run Adblock.