I tried the Flock web browser several months ago and was somewhat critical of the software. For those unfamiliar with Flock, the application is a new web browser to compete with the likes of Internet Explorer and FireFox. Flock is built upon the Mozilla code, the same as FireFox. Many of the same FireFox extensions can also be used with Flock. My initial critique of Flock was why didn’t the team just make a new extension or set of extensions for FireFox. Extending from that assertion, why would an end user stop using FireFox and start using Flock when many if not most of the features promoted could be accomplished by installing some extensions?
Well, it appears that with the beta release of Flock, I now can see where the Flock vision lies. When you examine Flock at a simply feature level and compare it to FireFox + extensions, you don’t really see how the big picture of the integration works together. This is one of those pieces of software you actually have to try before you see the power in the solution. If you blog, use Flickr, use a bookmark sharing service (like del.icio.us or Shadows), and RSS feeds, Flock seamlessly incorporates these services and concepts into your everyday web browsing. Everything that Flock does, I already do with extensions to FireFox. I doubt every FireFox user is similarly setup and I’m sure that most IE users are no where close. That being said, there presents a tremendous opportunity for Flock to open up a better user experience for the average web user.
I’m not 100% using Flock yet as not all my favorite extensions have been ported (though many are already listed on their site and there are some conversion tools available), but this web browser is now definitely on my radar screen. I’ll be following up on all the future beta releases and will continue to explore its features. I recommend checking out and trying the public beta if you already haven’t.