Flock, the Social Web Browser, has announced that the Flock 1.1 beta will launch in just two weeks. The browser, built on Firefox code, is designed for social interaction on the web, with features built into the browser just for this purpose. Flock chose last week's Macworld conference to show off the new version. With the upcoming release, several new features will be added, including Yahoo and Gmail support, Picassa integration, and a friend activity feed.
The integration of the popular webmail services from Yahoo and Gmail will allow users to share web pages, images, articles, and links with their friends using a click-to-compose function built right into the browser. By just clicking the email icon in the URL bar, Flock users can instantly share these items with their friends. When new mail arrives, the Flock Mail icon will light up to let users know to check their inbox. This is especially handy since webmail doesn't alert users of incoming mail the way that Outlook or other desktop clients do, forcing them to either keep checking it in a browser tab, using an add-on, or some sort of 3rd party notification software.
Image Credit: CNet Networks
As to why email was the next big feature to be included, Flock's CEO, Shawn Hardin, states that "Email is the single most frequently used communication application on the web, and is often overlooked as social activity."
The new Picasa feature will let users of the popular photo-sharing service quickly upload pictures to Picasa from Flock. To share these photos, users can email them via web mail or just drag and drop them onto the Flock People sidebar, the same way that YouTube videos, flickr photos, Photobucket photos, and others are shared in version 1.0.
The Friend Activity feed is like Facebook's News Feed, expect that it tracks your friends recent activities across all of Flocks supported services. The feed will inform users when their friends update their Flock profile or online status, upload new photos, and it even displays their Twitter updates.
The new version will be available for as a free download for Mac, PC and Linux in two weeks at www.Flock.com.