Flock 1.0 Loading The Flock team has been working hard as they push towards their first release of the social web browser, which is based on Firefox 2. To get the ball rolling they kicked Flock 1.0 Beta out the door today so that user feedback can start rolling in.


–Features–

I gave the first Beta a whirl, and I absolutely love the features that it has to offer. As I’ve previously said, this browser will definitely appeal to the social network addicts out there. Check out some of the features this thing is packed with:

  • Flock has hands-down the best feed reader that is built-in to a browser! This time around they revamped the interface so that it is even better!
    Flock Feed Reader
  • My World got a makeover from the previous version. This is essentially just a personalized homepage, but it is really personalized.
    Flock My World
  • Media Streams isn’t all that different, but it’s still a powerful feature when you’re on YouTube, Flickr, Photobucket, Piczo, Truveo, and Facebook.
    Flock Media Streams
  • When you login to a service, such as Facebook, you’ll be able to manage your account from the sidebar. If you don’t use any social networks like Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook this will pretty much be pointless.
    Flock People Sidebar

–The Problem(s)–

Firefox 2 has never really been kind to the RAM in my computer, but Flock is much much worse. I started the browser up, and it was immediately eating up 70MB of my memory. I opened a new tab and bam, I was at 90MB. I started doing some browsing around, and in under 2 minutes I was able to get my memory usage well over 110MB. And closing all of the tabs reclaimed absolutely none of the used memory.

And you know when you aren’t doing anything in Firefox or Opera the CPU usage is next to nothing. That only makes sense, but with Flock my CPU usage was constantly hovering between 20% and 30%. It was definitely doing something in the background, but I have no idea what. I deleted all of the feeds and accounts I had setup in Flock, and that didn’t help at all.

–Release Date–

There is no official Flock 1.0 release date set, but it is estimated for Fall 2007. Will they make the date? Probably, but in terms of stability I’m not sure it will be ready. There’s no way that I could use a browser like this when the memory usage is so excessive.

Will you download Flock 1.0? If so, is it only to try it out or do you actually plan on using it?

Source: TechCrunch

There Are 18 Comments

  1. Memory leaks? No thank you. Plus I hate social networking :P This sounds pretty system intensive, and I have more important programs to hog my system up like windows vista :)

  2. Until they address the memory leak, no. I absolutely love(d) Flock, and used it to publish to my blog, to Flickr, and manage my news feeds. But it wasn’t worth having to close it and open it back up every 20-30 minutes because of the memory problems.

    Hopefully, someday they will actually address the issue. All the new features they are adding are great, but how about fixing existing problems first.

  3. Wow, that is a little disappointing. I really like Flock and was hoping to use it more than casually, but it looks like it has some serious problems.

  4. No, I won’t download this version of Flock or any other.

  5. Flock definitely has it going in the UI department. I will download it, maybe as i am curious about it, but will it replace Firefox? I don’t know about that.

  6. rogoisu wrote:
    Memory leaks? No thank you.

    That’s what I say! Some days Firefox frustrates me enough with the memory leaks, I don’t think I coudl deal with anything worse.

  7. jerry wrote:
    Hopefully, someday they will actually address the issue. All the new features they are adding are great, but how about fixing existing problems first.

    Mozilla has done a lot of work on Firefox 3 in regards to the memory problems, and I’m sure they would help out Flock quite a bit. Unfortunately it will probably take them a long time after Firefox 3 is released before they will get around to upgrading Flock. It took them nearly a year to get it upgraded to Firefox 2.

    KylesCove wrote:
    Wow, that is a little disappointing. I really like Flock and was hoping to use it more than casually, but it looks like it has some serious problems.

    I was hoping to use it more as well, especially with how slick it is. It’s just not ready for primetime yet in my opinion.

    Mohan wrote:
    Flock definitely has it going in the UI department. I will download it, maybe as i am curious about it, but will it replace Firefox? I don’t know about that.

    I agree with you there. It’s one of the best looking browsers, and I wish that Mozilla would take some visual cues from them.

  8. Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the balanced post, I always love to hear your point of view.

    Regarding memory: browsers (and specifically the Gecko engine) do use a lot of memory. However, Flock should not run significantly slower. Our test machines, our staff, and a whole lot of Flockstars run Flock with no memory issues (I haven’t had any freezups longer than a second since we upgraded to 0.9.1.3). If you (or anyone else) has a performance issue with Flock, I urge you to contact me directly. We’ve already squished 3 major memory bugs this month by looking at profiles that were having trouble. Drop me a a line and help be part of the solution!

    Regarding Firefox3: We will be upgrading to the Firefox3 technology on a much faster timeframe than we did with Firefox2. This is not the Flock of a year ago, and we are fully committed to smoothly integrating this technology in a timely fashion.

    Keep the feedback coming: your feedback is what helps us keep making Flock better!

    Flock on,

    Evan Hamilton
    Flock Community Ambassador
    evan at flock dot com

  9. All I have to say is “Flock It!”

  10. Thanks for the info Evan, unfortunately there is no info I can really give you with my profile. I installed the browser, opened it, and saw overly high memory usage. It’s not that I see slowdowns on my machine, but I also have a high performance PC. If I was running this on a slightly older laptop with only 512MB of memory there would definitely be some performance issues with the virtual memory swapping. I really hope that you’re right about upgrading to Firefox 3, because that could make a huge difference in the end result.

  11. flock is an awesome browser for socialites, err i mean internet social networkers. :D

  12. I probably will download 1.0 to check it out, then uninstall it :D.

    If they ever fix the memory leaks, I’d consider using it full time….but considering I don’t do a whole lot of social networking, a lot of stuff would go to waste, so it might not be worth it.

  13. I only use browsers that have their original rendering engines.

  14. Hey Ryan,

    There is actually a way you can literally send me your profile, if you’re comfortable. Drop me a line at evan at flock dot com and we’ll discuss.

    Thanks!

    Evan Hamilton
    Community Ambassador
    evan at flock dot com

  15. Well… i installed it for the fun of it.
    Pretty much same problems as before.
    CPU and RAM going nuts.

    At least Netscape’s latest 9 is stable in that area (better than Firefox i found, with regards to RAM usage – CPU is not issue for either of these) and compatible with the extensions department.

    XPHome.

  16. I’m downloading it as we speak ( or ‘as we type’ I guess ). I’ve never tried it before but your discription sounds pretty good. I don’t do any of the social networking stuff ( i’m an antisocial type of person 8) ) I doubt that I’ll switch from Firefox but it’s certainly seems like it’s worth a look.

    Kevin Fonda
    Manasquan, NJ

  17. DaComboMan wrote:
    Well… i installed it for the fun of it.
    Pretty much same problems as before.
    CPU and RAM going nuts.

    I wish that I was the only one with the performance problems, but I’ve gotten confirmation from several people now that performance is also terrible for them immediately after installation. It just gets worse as you go through and configure services.

    kfonda wrote:
    I’m downloading it as we speak ( or ‘as we type’ I guess ). I’ve never tried it before but your discription sounds pretty good. I don’t do any of the social networking stuff ( i’m an antisocial type of person 8) ) I doubt that I’ll switch from Firefox but it’s certainly seems like it’s worth a look.

    I would definitely say it is worth a look, and may serve a good purpose for some people. I just found it to be a bit overkill on my system’s resources. I do too much heavy browsing for it to be a good thing.

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