Flock browser review

I have been using Flock since it was first released last year and I have been impressed at its progress (if a little frustrated at it’s rate of progress!).

I like the seamless implementation of social media like Del.icio.us and Flickr into Flock. In fact, it was Flock which got me into using Del.icio.us. Flock was even my default browser for a while (at any one time I have Flock, Safari, Firefox and Camino running simultaneously). I stopped using Flock as my default browser however, because of its patchy support for the minimum set of extensions I want to use (SessionSaver, FlashBlock and AdBlock).

The latest version of Flock launched last week and I thought I’d give it a whirl. I heard the developers discussing the photo uploader on the TalkCrunch podcast and it sounded interesting so I have been playing with that particularly (see screenshot below).

Flock image uploader

The Flock photo uploader is fantastic! There’s no other word for it. It is simplicity itself – drag an image to the photo topbar and the uploader opens ready to upload the image.

I was previously using a plugin for iPhoto to upload my images to my Flickr account but it was very clunky. It frequently hung in the middle of image uploading and there was no way to associate photos with a Flickr set. That had to be done manually after uploading. This is all a thing of the past thanks to the Flock uploader.

As well as uploading to Flickr the Flock uploader allows you to upload to PhotoBucket. Now if only they’d implement uploading to Zooomr, I’d be able to upload to my Zoomr account from within Flock as well!

27 thoughts on “Flock browser review”

  1. Just on the uploading of pictures to Flickr, I use the Flickr Uploader – it’s a standalone application and I regularly upload 100 photos at a time.

  2. Treasa,

    thanks for the tip. I have used the Flickr uploader in the past but I prefer to be able to upload directly from my photo app (iPhoto) or from the browser (Flickr in this case). I don’t esp want to have to launch another app just to upload.

    Having said that, I’d only ever be uploading a few pictures at a time, I’d never go anywhere 100 pics so I can see how the Flickr uploader would be useful there.

  3. I downloaded Flock a couple of weeks ago, and while it has some features that I find useful, it won’t take the place of Safari as my default browser. I like Safari’s clean lines and simplicity, and as I use RSS for my collection of blogs, news, etc., I find the baked-in RSS capability of Safari hard to beat.

    I have been using the Flock blog-posting utility to post to my site recently and when it works, it’s great. But when it doesn’t, it’s a pain in the ass. It throws up error messages with “Unable to connect to Blogger” or something similar, and so the natural reaction is to try again. But when you check the site, you see that the original post went up after all. I have two blogs on my Blogger account, and sometimes it posts to the wrong one or to both. I’m not gone on the appearance of Flock either, as it reminds me of Firefox, which I think is butt-ugly on OS X. Camino is much more appealing to the eye.

    Have you ever tried using Shiira, Tom? It’s based on Web Kit, the same rendering engine as Safari, but it has some nice little tricks like tab exposé and a side-drawer for bookmarks, downloads, etc.

    Getting back to Flock, I like the integration with Flickr. That is very handy, particularly if you just want to toss a few photos onto Flickr.

    I recently opened a pro account on Flickr and uploaded my entire iPhoto library of almost 2000 photos, using the iPhoto Flickr plug-in. It took ages, and I did them in batches of 250 or so, but I had no problems. It took tags and descriptions as well, no bother. One niggle I had was that I couldn’t set the privacy before the upload, and had to batch-process the lot at the other end. But other than that, it was relatively painless.

  4. Gerry,

    horses for courses I guess. I use Safari very sparingly because of its lack of support for plugins. I’m used to seeing ad-free sites thanks to AdBlock so I hate going to sites in Safari and seeing all the ads. I do like Safari’s private browsing feature though.

    I haven’t used Flock’s RSS or blogging features – I use a dedicated RSS reader (NetNewsWire) for my RSS and I use the WordPress admin interface to post to my blog – I prefer this to any of the alternative blog post tools I have come across.

    I haven’t tried Shiira – thanks for the tip, I’ll give it a spin.

    The version of the iPhoto plugin I have is quite old I now realise (v1.3.1). The latest version is a paid version though so I’m going to stick to the Flock uploader and use the Flickr one for large uploads for now.

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  6. Thanks for this review, Tom – I’m excited to try Flock out.

    Funny, but for years I clung stubbornly to IE … and now I cling stubbornly to Firefox. Even if Flock or another browser is better, I’ll have a hard time switching again. Is this normal? 🙂

  7. Absolutely Easton – we are programmed to fear change and to stick with what we know (i.e. what is perceived to be safe).

    Sod that! Embrace change! Try something new every day!

  8. at any one time I have Flock, Safari, Firefox and Camino running simultaneously

    I have the same problem as each browser does have its own strengths. The biggest pain was keeping all my passwords and form fillers in sync. That’s why I wrote 1Passwd – it integrates with the keychain and makes your saved forms available to each of these 4 browsers.

  9. Tom, I was using the same iPhoto plugin to upload to Flickr before Flock too. I just found out not long ago that you can select photos in iPhoto and drag them on to the photo icon to upload. Now I get to keep using my iPhoto and Flock as I upload – sweetness.

    David, I sync usernames and passwords between Firefox and Flock with Google Browser Sync.

    What do you folks think we could do to make Flock better?


    Will Pate
    Community Ambassador, Flock

  10. Hey Will – thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I just found out not long ago that you can select photos in iPhoto and drag them on to the photo icon to upload

    Sorry if I’m being a bit slow here Will (nothing new there!) but what photo icon in what application are you dragging them to?

  11. Will,

    You know what I’d like to see added to Flock? Support for more photo uploading services. Flickr is good if you have a pro account, and Photobucket is ok for myspace usage. How about BubbleShare, Imageshack, Shutterfly, Zoomr, or maybe even ALL photo sharing services?! 😉 I know it’s a tall order, but it sure would be nice to see it happen someday. I’ve been testing out Flock this week, and so far I’m not fully convinced to switch yet, but I do like the photo feature and blogging feature. My main hesitation to switch is that on a Mac Camino is much quicker to start-up and load pages, as well as it has the Aqua buttons and other various eye candy that I’ve grown to love about Macs.

  12. I’ve been using Flock for less than a week now, and I must say that aside from a few bugs, I’m extremely impressed. I’ve finally found a browser that handles RSS feeds better than Safari (except that it only displays 20 articles on a page, which is a drag, but I’ve tried out a less stable version which has some upcoming improvements, and this is fixed.) The photo uploader/blogger/delicios support is all very nice. I’d like to see the capability to upload to YouTube and Google Video in the future as well. The bar at the bottom to drag images and text to is also really nice, and the interface is second only to Safari, and even then, it’s close. It handles bookmarks pretty miserably (I’ve previewed the newer version, and it looks like they are trying for normal implementation of bookmarks, but it’s a buggy mess at the moment. But by the time it’s done, everything should be AOK there.) The only thing I see that any browser does better than flock that isn’t good in either the current or newer version is that Flock is pretty slugish. It runs really slow compared to Safari and Firefox. I noticed this with Firefox at first too, but then it just about doubled it’s speed when I installed Falter Fox (I had a stopwatch.) Flock is going about the speed Firefox did before I installed Fasterfox, and so far, fasterfox does not work with Flock. 🙁

  13. I could make firefox (Tools/MediaPlayerConnectivity) to look video streams and online TV in 10 minutes… I could not do it with flock for more than 4 hours experimenting…

  14. I’ve been using flock for a week now on gutsy gibbon and it’s great.
    I love the easy blogging, flickr, rss, it’s media bar, …

    The default theme is a bit “girly” but who uses a default look on an linux program anyway?

    It’s my standard browser and will be for a while I think.

  15. Flock now supports Adblock! I know because I use it on there. I have now officially switched from Firefox to Flock. There are a lot more features now & it’s more stable. Plus, it’s only going to get better! 🙂

  16. so far so good….but boy does Flock LOOK like a toy. Very child-like icons for whatever that’s worth. Seems slow to me but that could be because it’s Memorial Day and a lot of people are home, online.
    Great ideas though-I can see where this is all going!

  17. Hello there,
    I just downloaded Flock yesterday and it really is great for organizing all of your social networking sites in one place.

    I tried out the flickr uploader and it worked perfectly. I found that upload speeds were fast. It was easy to add titles, tags, and create albums right from the uploader program.

    One thing that would be nice to integrate into Flock is sync browsing.
    Anytime you open another Flock browser on another machine all of your sites will already appear. Opera currently has this feature and is my default browser at the moment.

    Thanks for the review.


  18. I have had Flock installed for several months and I was verry happy for it, but now I cannot get it to start up for some reason. I have spent 3 or 4 hour trying to get it to load and start and havem’t been able to use it in over a week. It has some things that I can’t get to work with the other programs. I hope you can fix it for me or tell me what to do to make it start up. I have been clicking the tool and wait 5 or 10 minutes and nothing will happen. I can’t download some of the things that I need.
    Help, Jerry McCoy

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