Opera Software has just released Opera 12.10 final after a number of beta and release candidate builds. The new version of the browser is a recommended upgrade for all Opera 12.x and previous users as it is fixing security issues in the browser.
OS integration has been improved in the release. Windows 7 and 8 users can now make use of inertia scrolling and pinch-to-zoom, while Mac users will notice support for Mountain Lion's Notification Center and built-in sharing of pages. Mac users who run a device with Apple's Retina display can now benefit from this as well when they run the Opera browser.
All Opera 12.10 users may notice a speed increase on popular sites such as Gmail, Twitter, WordPress and other Google properties thanks to the integration of SPDY support in the browser. The feature is also available via Opera Turbo.
We already mentioned that Opera planned to improve its extensions engine in Opera 12.10. The feature has landed in the browser giving extension developers additional APIs at hand. While it may take some time before users of the browser benefit from the integration, it is certainly a welcome addition considering that it is now possible to integrate extensions into the browser's right-click menu or to create screenshots.
Opera 12.10 supports ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles which makes photos display accurately in the browser.
Improvements have also been made to HTML5 and web standards support of the browser. Opera 12.10 breaks the 400 point mark in the HTML5test for the first time, a 15 point increase over Opera 12. While it is still trailing behind Maxthon and Chrome, it sits comfortable in third position in front of Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Opea 12.10 partially supports the Fullscreen Api and the Page Visibility API. The Fullscreen API enables games, apps and videos to do away with the browser chrome for a "real" fullscreen experience in the browser, while support for the Page Visibility API gives a tab information about its visibility status which apps can use to pause contents automatically in the time the tab is not visible on the screen.
Web Sockets are supported by Opera 12.10 and Opera Mobile 12.1, as well as Flexbox (CSS Flexible Box Layout Module) and @supports (CSS Conditional Rules Module Level 3). In addition, Opera 12.10 supports unprefixed CSS transitions, transforms, gradients, animations and flexbox.
Note that Opera 12.10 ships with a simplified user agent string as Opera Software has dropped the "U" token and the language indicator. The new shortened user string looks like this.
Link prefetching has been added to Opera 12.10. When you hover with your mouse over a link, the DNS of that link will be prefechted before you click on the link.
Existing Opera users can check for updates via Opera > Help > Check for Updates. The new browser version is already available at the official Opera website as well. Additional information about the release can be found on Opera's Developer Relations blog.
On a personal note: The browser crashes frequently on my 64-bit Windows 7 Pro system. I can't - yet - say if this is caused by a third party application running on my system, e.g. EMET or ExploitShield, or if Opera 12.10 is not as stable as it should be. If you try out the browser, let me know please if you are experiencing similar issues.
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