A Look Into Flock -The Browser For You and Your Friends.

From The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW):

Finally, after months of small alpha version bumps, Flock, the social web browser based on Firefox, has unleashed a 0.7 beta with a whole slew of updates, improvements and bug fixes. Along with a site re-design, check out their blog entry for a thorough rundown of what's new and what's still on the way.

I had used Flock before for a couple of weeks and really saw some potential in what Flock was trying to do. Today i decided to download the latest beta, and see how far Flock has come since the last time I used it. I must say, today I am impressed.

Think of it as the Web Browser for the Web 2.0 generation.Using a Firefox back-end, Flock offers a web browser connected to many of today's most well-know services out there. From blogging  integration with many blogging-platforms (Blogger, Movable Type, etc) to integration with your Flickr ot Photobucket account for your image needs. Flock does it all.

Given its Firefox roots, Flock is compatible with many extensions already available for firefox: http://extensions.flock.com/extensions

We have all come to love the power of extensions in Firefox, knowing that Flock plays with them nicely, it's just icing on the cake.

Compared to the slew of browser options available on the mac platform, Flock stands on firm ground. Although it may not be fully Cocoa'ed like Camino, the UI feels much better than the plain ol Firefox UI. We could use with Keychain integration, and maybe some Address Book integration as well, but keep in mind this is Beta 1. I am sure they are plenty of features still to come, and plenty of current features to be tweaked.

Some quick benchmarks of the scripting speed as compared to other Mac browsers using a 12 in. PowerBook G4 1.33Ghz w/ 768 RAM:

  • Flock - Final Result Time: 16.05 sec.
  • Safari 2.0.3         -Final Result Time: 8.42 sec
  • Firefox 1.5 (G4 Optimized Build) -Final Result Time: 14.45

Using  http://www.24fun.com/downloadcenter/benchjs/ to test out Javascript and DHTML speeds, we can see that the firefox-breed of browsers don't stand a chance to Apple's own Safari. What does that mean in every day browsing? Not a whole lot really, although there's a significant difference in the results, you won't notice it when you are out and about browsing the internet.

To close it off, I must say that I am truly impressed how far Flock has come, since I last used it a couple of months back. The tight integrations with  today's  most-used services is truly a welcome addition, and helps Flock stand out  from just been another Firefox clone. A better UI than Firefox,  the  compability of Firefox's  slew of  extensions, Flock  offers a whole  lot.  So go ahead and give it a try , I am sure you will be impressed.

Flock - http://flock.com/

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