Opera 15 preview released, Mail becomes separate product
Opera Software announced a few months ago that it would integrate WebKit, the engine used by Google Chrome and Safari into its browsers. Later on it announced that it would use the Blink fork of Webkit instead together with Google.
Today, the first preview version of Opera 15 powered by the new engine has been released. You can download the release directly from the Opera desktop team website where it is available for Windows and Macintosh systems. According to Opera, a Linux version will be released today as well.
You may ask yourself why it has been released as Opera 15. The most likely explanation is to merge the version of the Android and desktop versions. The Android version of Opera has recently been released as Opera 14.
One of the things that you may notice right away is that Opera decided to separate the Mail client M2 from the browser. If you have been using Opera Mail before, you need to download the separate product from the same website to continue using it.
Note: Both products are preview versions which means that they may contain more bugs and issues than stable releases. It is not recommended to install them in productive environments.
So how different is Opera 15 from Opera 12.15, the latest stable desktop version? You may not notice that many changes on first glance but there are many if you look deeper.
- The icons in the bottom bar including the zoom slider are not there anymore.
- You cannot open a small sidebar panel with often used icons anymore.
- The appearance menu is not available anymore. It seems that you cannot customize the look and feel of the browser anymore. This includes toolbars, icons and their position and visibility in the browser. No tabs on side.
- The browser settings are limited.Â Examples of removed preferences include selecting helper applications for selected programs, font selection, all tabs options and file type actions.
- The opera:config page is no longer available.
- Chromium developer tools are now used. Bye bye Dragonfly.
- Opera Notes is not available.
- Custom shortcuts and many mouse gestures missing.
- Bookmarks not available yet.
- No RSS.
- Opera Extensions are not supported.
Features carried over
Some features have been carried over by the team.
- Opera Link, the browser's synchronization service is included in Opera 15.
- Opera Turbo, now called Off Road mode is also included.
Quick benchmarks / tests
- HTML5 Test: Opera 15: 433 and 9 bonus points. An increase of 29 points over Opera 12.15
- Mozilla Kraken Benchmark: Opera 15: 1765.9ms +/- 0.8%. Opera 12.15: Â 9658.8ms +/- 0.7%
Opera 15 Next is a preview version and not a final product. It is therefore theoretically possible that Opera Software will integrate some of the missing features into the new browser version.
Existing Opera users will likely be disappointed in regards to the cuts that have been made as several important features, customizing the appearance for instance, are no longer available.
The main question though is if Opera Software manages to carry over enough unique features that distinguish Opera from Chrome so that users see a point in using the browser.Advertisement