I downloaded Flock last night, about 12 minutes after the public beta was released, and I’ve been playing with it on and off since then. Some good stuff, some things that seem good but aren’t so useful for me. Flock is based on the same code base as Firefox, so there’s lots of similarities and it can even import everything from Firefox in its initial setup, including saved web form data.
Some unique Flock features and how well they work for me:
- Flickr or Photobucket integration right along the top edge, allowing photos to be dragged onto that area to upload it to the photo service. I’m not using Flickr much; I still create photo galleries using JAlbum and publish them for various websites, so this feature isn’t as useful for me as it would be for a dedicated Flickr fan. I’m sure that will change as soon as I buy a pocket-sized digital camera and start snapping photos every day.
- RSS feed functionality built in. This is a non-starter for me, since I need a subset of my RSS subscriptions to drive my blog roll directly, which is what Bloglines does for me.
- Integration from the Favorites directly to del.icio.us. This is another non-starter for me, since it doesn’t put me far enough into the del.icio.us environment to show me my del.icio.us tags, so I end up accidentally creating a bunch of new tags and have to clean them up later. However, the “add to del.icio.us” bookmarklet that I had in Firefox works just fine.
- Built-in blog posting tool. I’m using this now, and have even figured out how to post to both Movable Type (for this blog) and Blogger (for my wine club blog) although errors are occuring on the MT posting that I haven’t resolved yet. It keeps the blog post window on top of all other Flock windows, which is a bit inconvenient since I often flip back and forth to the browser window during blogging to look things up. There’s no obvious hot key to pop up the links window, which is annoying. It generates some extra tags in the source, and I’m a sucker for clean source. Otherwise, I like it.
Overall, the experience is quite a bit like Firefox, only slower since I suspect that there’s some amount of test/debug code in here still. Given that the only extra that I might use is the offline blogging tool, there may not be enough to keep me here if it proves annoyingly slower than Firefox.