Alternative Browsers: Beyond Chrome and Firefox

Filed under
Software

Firefox too mainstream for ya? Bored with Chrome or Opera? Linux users with a wandering eye can find plenty of browser alternatives, from the super-useful to niche browsers that offer moderate improvements on existing browsers like Firefox. We look at some of the “alternative” browsers on Linux that we’ve found interesting and useful over the years.

Flock

Based on Firefox, Flock is branded the “Social Web Browser,” and includes a number of features for using social networking sites like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, that aren’t included in Firefox.

Why try Flock instead of Firefox? A lot of the functionality that’s in Flock can be added via add-ons in Firefox. However, Flock makes it much, much easier out of the box. Power users probably will prefer Firefox, but if I was setting up a machine for a friend or family member and wanted to make sure they find it easy to use social media, especially for blogging or sites like Flickr, I’d probably give them Flock instead.

For example, Flock has a built-in editor to create and post to blogs, a photo upload manager for sites like Flickr, and a “portal” page that allows users to keep tabs (no pun intended) on all their favorite social media services and feeds. The full list of supported services includes Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Delicious, LiveJournal, Photobucket, and many others.

The current release is a bit long in the tooth. Flock just released Flock 2.5.6, which is based on Firefox 3.0. So the latest and greatest Flock is missing a lot of the performance tuning that has gone into Firefox 3.5 and 3.6. But the Flock folks should be working on something based on 3.6 to appear this year.

Swiftfox