Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing around with Flock. Quoting from their website:
“Flock is an amazing web browser built on fast and secure Mozilla technologies. View and share photos with an innovative new photo bar in the browser. Subscribe to your favorite websites to get the freshest content automatically, in summaries that are easy to save and blog.Search more quickly, more effectively, and more richly with the innovative Flock Search Toolbar“
So that’s the sales pitch. I’ve had a bit of a play around with most of these features so I’ll give you a quick rundown.
Photo Bar: This is actually a handy little feature. In essence you can click a little button up next to the ‘Home’ button and a bar appears across the top of the webpage with your photostream from flickr or photobucket (whichever you elect).
You can upload photo’s using the inbuilt inbuilt photo-uploader which brings up a new window with a drag and drop interface from your computer and simple crop and rotate tools. From here you can title, describe and tag your photo’s, set public/private and also select which album the photo’s go in.
The photo bar also allows you to add friends flickr streams so that you can view their photo’s on the bar instead of your own. There is a simple drop-down interface to swap between accounts.
My favorite feature of the Photo bar, however; is the ability to drag a photo from your Photo Bar to the blogging tool. Like, for example, this photo I took last year at Bright.
RSS Reader: The RSS Reader in Flock is based on the Sage reader in Firefox. I’ve actually used Sage before and to be honest it’s not really to my taste, so I haven’t really played with this much.
Blogging Tool: I’m undecided on the blogging tool in flock. It has some very useful features. I am able to open a new blog post with a simple keyboard shortcut and I can comment on a webpage, image or piece of selected text by right-clicking and then clicking ‘Blog this’ from the drop-down menu. There is also a ‘Web Snippets’ tool which allows you to drag text or images from a website to a clipboard for future use and, of course, the drag and drop interaction with the Photo Bar.
However there are also several missing features which bug me. The tagging feature only enters Technorati tag html at the bottom of the post rather than the inbuilt labels in blogger which I prefer and text formatting is a little harder with no alignment options, text colour options or ‘quote’ buttons which I have become accustomed to.
On the other hand the spell-check is very well implemented and you can save drafts to your hard drive.
I think opinions on the Blogging Tool are likely to be mixed and its rather a matter of individual taste and usage. I’m not sure whether I will use it regularly, but its certainly useful for when you want to write a quick blog comment on something.
Search Tool: The search tool is, well, just a search tool really. I’ve heard some good things about its features but I haven’t really noticed a significant difference.
Overall I’m quite impressed with Flock. Anything you can do in Firefox will work with Flock and it has a couple of extra features which are kinda fun.
Blogged with Flock