Let me first start by saying that I have a bit of a soft spot for the Flock browser. You see, three years ago, before Automattic opened up WordPress.com for public use, it was in a private beta phase and invites were difficult to come by. Upon the arrival of one of the company’s first betas, Flock decided to issue invitations to WordPress.com to accompany the download of the Flock web browser. It was on that day, October 31st, 2005, that the Fans of Tech weblog was born. Using Flock’s embedded blog authoring tool and my new WordPress account, I began what would ultimately become not only an obsession, but also my favorite hobby: informing readers about the development of new technologies that can actually make all areas of their lives just a little bit easier.
That said, I thought it might be fitting to celebrate our 3rd year with some news about the recently-released Flock 2.0.
Exiting beta just a couple of weeks ago, the final release of Flock 2.0 brings a few new features to the Firefox-based browser. First up is support for one of the oldest social networking sites out there, MySpace.
"Now MySpace lovers can stay up to date with their MySpace friends and activities no matter where they are on the web. MySpace users will also find that Flock offers the easiest way to upload photos, insert photos and videos in MySpace comment fields and share most any web content by simply dragging and dropping it into the Flock People sidebar."
The new release also brings support for themes to Flock for the first time. There are two brand-new themes now available to Flock users: Dublin and MyBlue. I personally wasn’t terribly impressed with either of them (I definitely prefer the original better) but, honestly, that goes for a lot of Firefox-based themes I encounter as well.
Now, those two new features are just the tip of the iceberg for the final 2.0 release. Among the many new features introduced in the first Flock 2.0 beta, released back in June, include an improved codebase built upon Firefox 3 – which was unveiled this past spring – as well as support for Media RSS (MRSS) detection.
Flock 2.0 brings plenty of user-reported fixes including a fix for what was once a big problem for many Flock users, including yours truly: memory leaks. Thanks to the new Firefox 3.0 code, Flock now consumes far-less memory per session even despite a large number of open tabs and windows.
This is all in addition to what Flock already offered: a media mini-bar to quickly preview online photos and videos, built-in Webmail viewing for your favorite online email accounts, a built-in blog editor compatible with all of the most popular blogging services, a superbly-powerful search bar for find-as-you-type results from search engines/browsing history/favorites as well as support for pretty much any Firefox add-on that you can find.
Now, many of you may not recall this but Flock actually began as a company by the name of RoundTwo which was built to support the development of Firefox extensions like FlashGot, TinyURL Creator, Copy Plain Text and more – extensions that may not be around today without the support of the company that would eventually craft the world’s most popular socially-aware Web browser.
If you’re not yet using Flock and you want to know a little bit more about it and how it can pretty easily change your social networking experience, their official site, at flock.com, is (in my humble opinion) uniquely easy-to-browse and provides all of the information you need. Read over what all the browser has to offer and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find yourself downloading it… or one of it’s many incarnations.
Editor’s Note: Both Flock and WordPress are definitely the best in their class and I not only think it’s great to see that these products/offerings are still available three years later but I’m also proud to have based the first-ever post on Fans of Tech on them. I’m looking forward to three more years of posts on these products and a plethora of others as well.