Every browser developer seems to be inclined these days to streamline and at the same time minimize the user interface. We have seen it with Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, and now it is Opera's turn do propose the same. Currently available as an Opera Next snapshot only but soon making its way to stable Opera builds.
Project Featherweight consists of several phases of which the first has been first has been made available in the new development build.
The general idea behind Featherweight is to make "Opera as light, bright and user-friendly as possible" without losing the browser's flexibility interface wise.
Users who install the new build will instantly see some of the differences compared to previous Opera versions. I have created two screenshots, the first showing the old Opera interface, the second the new interface of the latest Opera Next build.
The Opera Next button, and other elements of the interface resemble that of the Firefox browser now. The toolbar icon set has been completely revamped, and users will notice the softer background and border colors immediately.
Users may also notice the new status bar design, which now integrates the Opera Link, Opera Unite and Opera Turbo buttons in a less obtrusive manner.
Button borders have been removed from the Opera address bar, and the home and fast forward buttons have been made optional, meaning that users who want them back need to add them through customizations.
A right-click and the selection of customize > Appearance opens the configuration menu where toolbars and buttons can be added to the Opera interface. New buttons are simply added via drag and drop. They become visible and accessible immediately afterwards in the interface.
The new interface has been made available for all Windows, OS X and Unix versions of the browser. Interested users can download the latest snapshot build from the Opera Desktop Team blog. Opera Next can be installed next to an existing version of Opera.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.