A brand-new version of Opera (Opera 45.0), a popular Internet web browser, for Windows, Mac, and Linux has been introduced recently. It has borrowed the best features of Opera Neon, an experimental browser released earlier this year, and now fits the needs of social media users. Additionally, it has a redesigned user interface which should considerably improve the user experience. Experts say that the release of the new improved Opera version, codenamed Reborn, might be a new Opera Software Ltd attempt to become a market leader. Since the new features of Opera, most probably, will not be enough to attract a large number of other popular web browsers users, e.g. Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, the company is ready to invest $100 million to strengthen its positions in three African markets: Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.
The first thing users who install Opera Reborn notice is a new, high-quality design. It not only looks prettier, but it is also available in two colors, light and dark, to satisfy all tastes. In addition, users are allowed to choose between three new backgrounds. As for the icons and animations, they have been updated too making the usage of Opera even more enjoyable and simplified. In fact, the entire layout has been updated, so now Opera looks truly modern.
The user interface design is not the only thing that has been updated in the new Opera version. It comes with an enhanced ad-blocker as well. It now automatically reloads pages when users enable or disable the ad-blocker feature. For instance, if you have ended up on a web page full of irritating commercial advertisements, you can quickly enable the ad-blocker and the website you are viewing will be reloaded for you automatically without ads. Curiously, four popular websites Baidu, Yandex, Google, and Facebook are whitelisted by default.
Several modifications regarding the performance and security have been made too. From now on, Opera will send more videos to its graphics processing unit (GPU) for decoding which should result in the improved performance and the extended battery life. Additionally, users will be warned when they start typing in such personal details as passwords and credit card numbers on non-HTTPS websites. This should help to prevent the loss of personal data.
Although Opera Reborn has several new exclusive features (see above), Opera Software Ltd is proud of one of them in particular – the ability to pin such popular applications as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp (more services should be added in the future) to the left side of the browser. Users are allowed to open these apps in overlay too, but pinning them to the sidebar means that they could use them side-by-side with the opened tabs. To put it differently, users will no longer need to switch between tabs to respond to messages, and they could easily combine online chatting with, for example, surfing the Internet. In other words, it will be easier to multitask. Switching between messengers has never been easier too – users having more than one messenger could choose which one of them they want to open by using keyboard shortcuts (CTRL+SHIFT+m – Windows and Linux; ⌘ + ⇧ + m - Mac OS). The best thing is that there is no need to install any additional apps to be able to use this feature!
Since the sidebar of the new Opera version is easily customizable, the decision which messengers to use is in users’ hands. Those apps they never use can be easily disabled and removed from the sidebar of the web browser by making modifications under “Customize start page.” In fact, users are allowed to customize other tools, e.g. bookmarks, history, news, extensions, etc. that appear in the sidebar too. This new feature enables users to access tools they find useful with the click of a button; however, they still have an option to disable it and start using the good old Speed Dial again.
Last but not least, since Opera’s main goal is to attract new users, the installation process of its new version Opera Reborn has been simplified as well. Users could install this browser easier because of the newly-introduced zero-click network installer. To put it differently, the installation process will not require further clicks after users click on the Download now button available at Opera.com.
All in all, Opera Reborn seems to be a decent update; however, it is still vulnerable to phishing attacks, according to researchers, so its developers should continue working towards improving the security means. If a way to ensure the ultimate protection is found, Opera’s chances to become the most popular browser will surely multiply.