Flock 3 Beta drops Firefox, switches to Chromium
The Flock developers have announced the release of a public beta for version 3.0 of their social web browser. Flock is a popular cross-platform browser that automatically manages updates and media from several popular social services, including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Digg, YouTube and Twitter.
As rumoured more than one year ago, this major update of Flock, version 3.0, is now based on Google's open source Chromium browser platform rather than Mozilla's Firefox 3 browser, as with previous 1.x and 2.x releases. In a post on the Flock blog, Flock CEO Shawn Hardin says that, "as the first major browser other than Google Chrome to be built on the Chromium platform, the new Flock is blazingly fast!", adding that “The new Flock is designed to naturally complement the value we place in relationships and puts you at the centre of your friends and their conversations while you browse the Web."
In addition to switching to Google's browser platform, Flock 3.0 – which claims on its beta home page to be "Better than Internet Explorer" – now uses Google as the default search engine. Other notable changes include a redesigned user interface, a new account manager home page, better social networking integration and a number of performance and stability improvements. As Flock 3.0 is based on the same technology as Chrome, most Chrome Extensions are also supported.
As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.
More details about the release, including a short video and a full list of new features, are available in the announcement press release and a blog post by Flock VP of Engineering Clayton Stark. Flock 3 Beta is available to download for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. A Mac version of the browser is also in the works and is expected later this summer. Prospective users can request, from the beta home page, to be emailed when it's ready. The latest stable release of Flock is version 2.6.0, based on Firefox 3.0.19.