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5 Reasons To & Not To Use Flock

Flock LogoFlock is an up-and-comming web browser. Based on Firefox’s rendering engine and having quite a few of the same qualities, Flock should be a contender as it works it’s way towards 1.0. However it has some good and some not so good qualities.

Five Reasons To Use Flock
1) Nice Feed Reader – Granted, there are a few annoying bugs in Flocks feed reader, overall it’s nicely integrated into the browser and even shows favicons and has settings to save posts, or mark un-viewed, that you want to keep around.
2) The search box searches Yahoo live and your history. It’s true, start typing in the search box and it’ll search Yahoo as you type. It’ll also search your bookmarks and history. This is one of my favorite Flock features.
3) Spell check built in! No need to find extensions to do the work for you, Flock has a built in spell check.
4) Social integration ready to go. Del.icio.us, Flickr and blogging are right at your finger tips and integrated throughout the browser.
5) Separate bookmark bars. You can create different bookmark bar sets so that the favorites you want to see at the top of your browser can change from time to time.

Five Reasons Not To Use Flock
1) No folders in the bookmarks bar. I love the multiple bookmarks bars, but not having the ability to put folder in them drives me nuts. I feel so un-organized.
2) History is hidden. In Firefox you can easily navigate to the history and browse though it. In Flock, it’s not as accessible.
3) New bookmark system. There are bookmarks and stars and I think they are the same but it’s a little confusing. I also think the new bookmark system makes it harder to share you bookmarks on the net.
4) Feed reader opens and closes itself depending on what kind of page (or feed) you are reading. You can’t be reading a feed, then click on a post to go to the webpage and keep the feed reader open in the sidebar. It gets to be really annoying.
5) It’s in beta which means there are bugs and missing features.

Overall, I have been using Flock as my main browser for weeks and it works out quite nice. As it moves towards 1.0 it’ll get better I’m sure. I do miss Firefox at times but there are a few features that I think are just to nice to pass up. Flock is really just a fancier version of Firefox and we’ll see what I go for once Firefox 2.0 comes about.

11 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I think bookmark folders are passe’ as far as social bookmarking is concerned. Its all about tags. If you think about it, tags are just like putting items in multiple folders. For me, del.icio.us has completely replaced bookmarks on all browsers. I think that is how flock wqas designed to work.

  2. Chris says:

    Funny, by the way, that Flock is identified as Firefox 1.5.0.4, and does not have an identity of its own; that makes it hard to evaluate how many people are actually using it.

  3. Thomas says:

    Tags are like folders, either way, I need some sort of grouping feature in my bookmarks bar. Maybe I need to look into moving towards Del.icio.us more.

    Also, Flock does identify itself as Flock. At least I’m pretty sure it does.

  4. Will Pate says:

    Hey Thomas,

    Great post. Glad to hear you’re digging some of our features, and I can speak to some of the reasons you mentioned not to use Flock.

    We’re bringing folders to Flock favorites, likely in Beta 2. We’ll still have social bookmarks and tagging, but you’ll also be able to add them to folders. It’s the best of both worlds!

    Yep, starring a webpage adds it to your favorites – so they are the same thing. What about our favorites makes it harder for you to share them on the net? We support del.icio.us and Shadows syncing, so is it something in the user experience that makes it harder for you?

    You can always search your history from the search box in the top right corner, as you know. We took out the history sidebar because it wasn’t polished enough. Hopefully we’ll have something better on this front for Beta 2.

    You can keep the news reader sidebar open by going to Accounts and Services -> News and uncheck “Open the My News sidebar when reading news feeds”. Lots of people miss that, myself included.

    Chris, Flock today identifies itself as being of Firefox, but Flock. For instance, the user agent on my version shows as “Firefox/1.5.0.4 Flock/0.7.3”.

    Cheers,

    Will Pate
    Community Ambassador, Flock

  5. Thomas says:

    Wow, my sidebar RSS reader stays open now. I’m so excited!! That was a big one for me.

    As far as the bookmarks go, the sharing comment was just a thought. I shouldn’t have said anything as I don’t have anything to back it up with. 😉

    Folders are coming, I did see that and I’m all excited.

    Ohh, while you are reading, how about spell check as I type? That’d be sweet.

    Great work so far and I’m really liking Flock. 🙂

  6. Will Pate says:

    Beta 2 should be built on Firefox 2.0, which has inline spell checking. 🙂

  7. Thomas says:

    Ohh I remember now, Flock doesn’t sync bookmarks with Google Browser Sync. That’s what lead to my comment.

    When is Beta 2 scheduled for? Weeks, Months?? 😉

  8. Will Pate says:

    We’re shooting to have the next major release in the fall. Cross your fingers.

  9. qwiki says:

    History is very accessible. Customize you r toolbar’s and add the button with a clock on it. There’s your history button.

  10. Alvin B. says:

    There’s still no folders that I can seem to find in the bookmarks toolbar, over a year after they said there would be.

  11. Thomas says:

    I seem to be having bookmark issues too. The functionality seems to be there, just not working quite right for me. But then again, I don’t use Flock much anymore.

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