My curiosity about the Opera Browser has been piqued by the buzz about the release of Opera 10.0, released this month. So I decided to investigate it myself and see if it lives up to the hype. It is billed as “the smallest and fastest browser in the world” and is a product of Opera Software in Oslo, Norway. In this article I’m going to discuss the buzz, the specs, and the press releases. After I have used Opera for awhile, I’ll be writing about how it differs from other browsers and giving my opinion on it.
The licensing fees and banner ads have been removed, and Opera is now a free download. Per the web design W3Schools, the newest features are:
• Opera Turbo – Enables fast browsing on slow connections
• New visual tabs and sleek design – Opera introduces a resizable tab bar and has created a whole new look for Opera 10
• Web Integration – If you use a Web mail service as your default mail client, you can tell Opera 10 to do the same. You can also add any RSS/atom feed into your favorite online feed reader
• Resizable search field – Expand the size of the search field
• 40% faster engine – Opera 10 is much faster on resource-intensive pages such as Gmail and Facebook
• Unique Web standards support – With an Acid3 100% score, Web Fonts support, RGBA/HSLA color and SVG improvements, Opera 10 is ready for the next generation of Web development
• Speed Dial your way – Click the Configure Speed Dial button and choose from 4 to 25 favorite Web sites for quick access
• Inline spell checker
• Automated Crash Reporting
• Opera Dragonfly evolved
Opera 10.0 is available for Linux, Mac, FreeBSD and Windows computers. (W3Schools)
Opera has yet to crack the American market and is fifth in line behind Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Firefox. So why would anyone choose Opera over other, more tried-and-true browsers? Well, for one thing, it is not just a browser; it is a suite of applications that you can use for news feeds, emails, and chatting. It’s rendering engine (Presto) has been called one of the most advanced in the industry. Opera’s User Interface is considered innovative and very customizable.
A quick word about Opera Dragonfly, a tool for web developers that allows remote debugging from the Opera browser. Access this application by clicking Tools → Advanced → Developer Tools in the Opera menu bar.
Some other innovative Opera features at a glance:
• Opera Turbo is an intriguing feature that the company claims will boost internet bandwidth speed on slow connections by compressing data and images before they get to your Opera browser.
• Opera Show allows non-developers to create presentations (slide shows) using new authoring tools
• Opera is available on a large number of devices — notably on the Ninteno Wii — and many high-end mobile phones. For low-end phones, Opera is available in the form of Opera Mini – the web pages are loaded on special servers and compressed before being sent to a phone.
As I said, I will be using and evaluating Opera Browser in the near future and passing on my opinion to anyone who is interested.
W3Schools. W3Schools. September 2009. 30 September 2009 .