This is the new version of Flock in all its glory, version 1 (RC 3), for Mac, Windows and Linux.
While I disliked the earlier version which seemed nothing more than a Firefox with lots of social media related plugins, this new version is more tightly integrated and intelligently designed.
People Sidebar (on left)
Much like how I love using Adium as it aggregates all my instant messaging friends across services (e.g. ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, GTalk), Flock now features a convenient (and clever) “People” sidebar to show you the status of friends across social networks such as Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you notice carefully, it even shows how many updates have been made in each service, much like an inbox count! This saves me time checking in on these sites, especially since Facebook is so spammy (see Bacn) with all the apps and notifications. I must admit it does make me feel like I’m a rat-race seeing how everyone’s updating their Facebook profiles, uploading new photos to Flickr and so on.
My World (on center bottom)
As cheesy as the name sounds, it does a well-thought out aggregation of all your recent bookmarks, rss feeds and freshly posted media (e.g. Flickr, Youtube) from your friends. It’s clever because it just takes your account information and pulls all this data out for you. Feels like your very own Digg Spy, with category columns that make sense.
Media Stream (on center top)
I think they did a better job with their media stream feature this time. Not only does it make browsing photos from Flickr and videos from Youtube so much easier than viewing a regular web page, there’s a contextual menu where you can perform certain actions with the media, such as to share it via email, get the embed codes and so on. Time-saver once again.
There are tons of other features I haven’t even explored yet, but Flock now feels like a strong contender in my web browser repertoire. Integration with del.icio.us, suggested search (see top right), image uploading, blog posting and so much more are built right in. I’d highly recommend this as a blogger’s default web browser, since you can now see more and share more, all in less time.
Aside: Techcrunch thinks the latest Flock rocks as well….