Flock: Social browsing
Flock is technically a separate browser with an emphasis on Facebook, Twitter, and other social functions on the Web. Or at least it was -- as I was writing this, the company stopped supporting the tool. You're free to continue using Flock, but the company decided it would rather work with Zynga on building games.
The idea of Flock was to encourage users to share what they consume on the Web and watch what others are doing. Some may dispute the claim that Flock qualifies as a separate browser because its core is Chrome, but its purpose-built nature offers unique functionality.
There are rumors that Firefox 5 will inherit some of these social features. RockMelt is distributing a similar social browser that works on both the desktop and the iOS platform. The space won't stay empty for long.
Chrome: "Hands-free transparency"
Being unique is not always a sign of leadership. Google's Chrome, for instance, is the last of the big browsers to resist the "do not track" framework that asks websites to avoid tracking users. Google says it is following the development and may choose to implement it in some form in the future. Cynics will note that Google, more than any other browser maker, has a stake in tracking users on the Web because its business model depends on crunching this information to serve up relevant advertisements.
Think of Google's foot dragging on this effort as a form of anti-shyness. It's like your friend telling you to quit moping around, go to the party, open up, and share a bit about yourself. From this perspective -- namely, Google's -- it's easy to see eschewing the "do not track" framework as a kind of feature offering on Chrome's part, not a limitation.
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This story, "13 features that make each Web browser unique," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest news in Web browsers, applications and HTML5 at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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