Finally, here is a browser that is an actual extension of your virtual entity, your portal to the Internet, as you want it. We have all worked on browsers that function the way their creators wanted, but Flock is the exact opposite and puts the user in full control.
Flock seems to have originated from the need of netizens to integrate their multiple virtual entities on a single platform, and gain full operational control. Built on Mozilla’s Firefox, Flock is ideal for social network junkies who can’t do without their hourly dose of Facebook or Twitter. Log in once and the browser keeps a tab on all your accounts for future, alerting about updates, new events and uploads. Most features are clipped on the Flock toolbar just below the address box.
The ‘people’ icon lists all your contacts online at any particular moment, and this includes even those from websites like Flickr and Twitter, not just Gmail and Facebook. The ‘people bar’, which appears on the left of the browser, allows you to chat, share content and even surf together with your online contacts — you just have to drag and drop a page on the contact for them to see it, provided they too are using Flock.
Another significant feature is the ‘media bar’ icon, which lets you browse through all media on a particular website using a coverflow-like interface. Search for India on YouTube for instance and all relevant media on the site are listed as large thumbnails on a strip above the page.
Once logged in using the browser, you can also upload photos to photosharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket by just dragging the image to the ‘upload’ icon. The browser also has a built-in blog editor, so that you can scribble down a new blog by just clicking an icon on the top bar.
The RSS reader on the browser, meanwhile, makes it easy for you to consume news by giving you feeds and updates from all the sites you have subscribed to. All you have to do is click the ‘feeds’ icon, which will conveniently light up every time you are on a site with RSS feeds. Click on the subscribe button once and feeds from the URL will be added to your daily customised news capsule. The feeds bar also makes it easy to organise feeds into various categories like sports, entertainment and science to avoid clutter.
With Flock, ‘favouriting’ sites is also a one-click process, with listings appearing as a drop down bar. But the real piece de resistance is the My World options which collates all your newsfeeds, social networking updates, blog comments and replies on a single homepage, ready for you every time you log in.
If you find all these features complicated, there is even a one-click Flock tutorial which will teach you how to use the browser to its full potential.
So why wait, start Flocking.