Opera Next 15: Singing A Dramatically Different Tune | TechTree.com

Opera Next 15: Singing A Dramatically Different Tune

Opera dramatically changes its browser with a refreshed new look and brand new engine to boot.

Opera Next 15: Singing A Dramatically Different Tune

Opera Next is here, with it's newest radical release, version 15. What's so radical about it? Firstly, it's got a brand new webpage rendering engine under the hood. Secondly, it has a new design that is meant to be beautiful and sleek; and thirdly, you'll see brand new features that are helpful right out of the box.

New Engine
Opera has ditched the Presto engine favouring the open source Chromium engine (a.k.a WebKit) (a.k.a Blink) which powers Google Chrome, Apple's Safari and Konqueror browsers. While some may consider this a Google Chromization of Opera {gasp}, it is in fact Opera's move to go with an engine standard that is easier to maintian, grow features into and standards-compliant. In essence, this move allows Opera to leave the engine development to the open source community (WebKit) (Blink) and use the freed-up resources to concentrate on building a chassis with a USP. "Completely rethinking a browser in today's competitive market is a big thing," says Opera Software SVP of Desktop Products, Krystian Kolondra.

New design
Opera Next 15 sports a simplified browsing experience with an unified address and search bar, much like Chrome and Safari as opposed to the separate boxes still used by Firefox.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune

The refreshed look is designed from the ground-up with a sleek 'sci-fi-sh' steel gray styling. The browser looks quite beautiful, clean and really shines in Fullscreen mode.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune
Opera's design team must really love Star Trek Enterprise.

Revamped Speed Dial
Opera's signature feature Speed Dial, has got a brighter look. Opera 15 has fleshed out Speed Dial feature to become much better by adding grouping of Speed Dial entries, using folders and filtering of items by clicking the search icon in the upper-right corner.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune

New Discover feature
The brand new Discover feature is an automatic content aggregator which serves up articles around the web for your reading pleasure in an appealing magazine style in 13 categories and 32 languages.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune

New Stash feature
The Stash feature basically lets you collect websites for reading it later or saving searches for research later on. The concept itself is not new as the popular addon Pocket (formerly Read It Later) does the same. However what we loved was the direct integration into the browser and Opera's unique implementation of it, such as the heart icon to save links, resizeable page previews and search what you've saved, with keywords.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune

Rebranded Off-Road mode
Opera's Turbo is now known as Opera Off-road which not only promises compression technology for faster browsing when conditions are rough but also adds in SPDY protocol – an experimental alternative protocols to help reduce the latency of web pages, in other words, speed up page loading further. Other than this you'll notice a new download manager (very Chrome and Firefox like) and a separated Opera Mail client adding labelling, filtering, threads and multiple tab support, to name a few features.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune


  • As already mentioned, a number of your favourite features may be absent - like your old themes for one.
  • Keyboard accessibility and other such basic niceties have been rebooted.
  • Long time fans of the browser may feel Opera has lost its "special" standing.
  • Opera picked the WebKit engine, just when Google themselves "forked" away from it with the "Blink" engine.
  • Increased memory usage makes the browser less welcome for those used to opening multiple tabs.
  • Individual processes for each open browser tab are a U-turn in philosophy, may annoy enthusiasts.
  • Opera's constant attempts to appeal to mainstream users may not bear fruit, and alienate hard-core users dedicated to the browser since 1997.

While the browser is a breath of fresh air, expect to see some of your favourite features missing (such as themes) at least for the time being as Opera team readies its roadmap for bringing many of its features back in later versions (and that's a promise, they say!). One thing is for sure, with the new engine under hood, Opera will certainly leave Facebook and Twitter laggy issues in the dust.

Interestingly (for now), Opera team is going to maintain three different versions of the browser.

Opera Next 15 –  Dramatically Singing a Different Tune

Opera Developer: Most unstable, all the cool stuff.
Opera Next: The work being stabilized for the next final version.
Opera (Stable): The most stable build for everyone.

Read more about Opera's Release cycles here.

Download Opera Next 15 Browser and Opera Mail directly from their blog below

Tried Opera Next, version 15? Let us know what you feel about it.

Tags : Opera