Saturday, 27 July 2013

The New Opera Browser

Here's another alternative browser that is worth considering to use, the new Opera Browser version 15. It is fast to load pages. Like google chrome, it's source code is based from the open source chromium web browser project. It also includes simple and easier way to control what you want to see, the way you want to see it, and tweaks that can be configured easily to adopt to your hardware and internet resources in order to allow faster internet experience. Here are the things I like about it.

The speed dial

Like the keypad of your phone, the speed dial is where you find the web pages you usually access. This saves you time to type in and search using the address bar. You can configure it to contain only the pages you wanted and usually go into. It's like a favourite list of web pages, but this time, instead of being embedded and buried somewhere else, it is in a page with thumbnails of each.

Hovering your mouse over the thumbnail reveals an x (1) button that can remove the item, and simply click the + (2)button to add pages.

The Stash Button

We are all multi-taskers, well at least in our surfing habit.We jump from one page to other pages, and when we get into two or three pages that we like but do not have the time to read at once, in Opera, just click the heart button at the top right hand corner of the browser to put this pages in one separate window for viewing later. It is helpful when you are doing a research and you have multiple data source sites. The tiles of the stashed sites can be adjusted with a slider control(1) and you can remove anysite site by clicking the x(2) button.

The Discover Page

Get into the latest news about everything by going into the discover page. You can personally adjust the contents by region(1) or by topic(2) to suite your taste. This ensures the relevance of what you are going to read and avoid contents that you do not like. Better than having a regional restrictions, or opening up a default news location by other web providers.

My Personal Favourites

Recover accidentally closed windows and tabs

Have you ever closed a page unintentionally? I often do that, and doesn't really mind if the site is familiar to me, but what if it's not the case? In opera, clicking the the logo (1) at the top left corner reveals a function that opens up recently closed window(2). The list of the closed down tabs and windows is shown starting from the latest(3).

Built-in download manager

It is easy to access the download manager(1) from the Opera logo, you can see the files you have downloaded, and the ability to pause downloads and resume later on. Sometimes it is a pain to transfer downloads into a directory of our choice. You can change the default location easily by going into settings  (2) and changing(3) the default download folder for Opera.

Save on data whilst abroad

In case you are abroad and needs to access a site but do not have a reliably fast internet, or you are saving on a mobile data, you can choose not to load photos whilst surfing. You can tick(1) this option easily whilst under the settings menu. Or you can choose which website to allow photos whilst surfing by managing restrictions(2).

Make load pages even faster

A significant feature that I find it interesting is called "Off-Road Mode". This compresses the incoming data through Opera's compression servers, thereby reducing the size of the page and in effect, reduces the loading and rendering time. This is very useful when you are using your device with public Wi-Fi like in cafe's where many devices are sharing the same Wi-Fi signal. Useful as well in the house, when the Wi-Fi connection becomes rather slow and unreliable, or have congested network because of too much internet activity of connected devices, like streaming movies and playing games. Though this feature is effective with pages containing mostly texts, it struggles with video sites.

Easy synch

When you use Opera into multiple devices, you can import every customization you did by creating an account. You will be able to see the bookmarks, stashes, and notes you made from your laptop in your mobile device when you use Opera and log into your account.

You can create a synchronization account by going to more tools(1), synchronize(2) and sign up(3).

Full page on mobile devices

When using a mobile phone, the sites you are accessing automatically detects you are using a mobile device and renders you a mobile version of website. It is good and quicker to load  but sometimes they do not show us all data that we would like to see like when viewing the same site in a computer.

In Opera mobile version, there is a selection in the advanced(1) setting that you can change the default version of the web page by choosing a different user agent(2). Change it into desktop(3) and the full version of the web will be rendered. This will stretch the loading time though.

Get the new Opera at and try it with your device. A mac and mobile flatform version is also available.

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