Finally, Opera Developer version released
If you have followed the news surrounding Opera's move from the company's own Presto engine to Chromium / WebKit / Blink, then you may remember that the company wanted to provide users and interested third parties with three different channels.
Opera released versions of the new browser to the stable and next channel up until now. Today, the company has released the first developer version of the Opera browser which you can download from the Opera Desktop Team website.
Lets take a quick look at the three channels and how they compare to those offered by Mozilla and Google:
- Opera Stable: this is the most stable build of Opera intended for productive environments and users who only want tried and tested features in their browser. It is comparable to Firefox Stable or Chrome Stable.
- Opera Next: this channel gets frequent updates and features before they land in the stable version of Opera. It is comparable to Firefox Beta and Chrome Beta.
- Opera Developer: the cutting edge channel that gets updates first. It is comparable to Firefox Aurora and Google Chrome Dev / Canary.
Opera 17, the first Opera Developer version, introduces several new and requested features to the browser. Opera distinguishes between features that are active immediately when you start the browser, and features that are disabled but can be enabled via the opera:flags configuration page.
New features in Opera 17
- More startup options: you can now select to load the last session, the start page, or a specific page or set of pages. You find the preference in opera://settings.
- Tabs can now be pinned in the browser. Just right-click a tab to do so.
- New extension API features for bookmarks, commands, omnibox, webNavigation.
- You can now manage search engines in Opera 17. Add shortcuts for your favorite search engines and change the default search engine that Opera uses when you type in the address bar.
Features disabled by default
Opera 17 launches with three features that are integrated in the browser but disabled by default. You can enable them on the opera://flags page.
- Theme support: What's interesting here is that the theme engine is backwards compatible. This means that you can load Opera 12 themes in Opera 17 as well as themes that have been created specifically for Opera 17 or newer versions of the browser. Seems to be limited to themes that change the wallpaper though in regards to backwards compatibility.
- Camera and Microphone support on Windows via getUserMedia. This is not working on Macs currently.
- HiDPI Support on Windows. Get a better experience on high definition screens.
- Quick Access Bar: Once enabled via the Opera menu after you have turned the feature on under opera://flags, you have access to a bookmarks bar once again. It does not appear to work fully yet though, as you cannot add items to it.
The company notes that users can expect many more features to land in Opera in the near feature. Mentioned specifically in the blog post are:
improved tabs handling: vertical tabs, visual tabs, tab cycler, move tabs between windows, quick access bar (aka bookmarks bar), synchronization.. We've planned further bookmarks enhancements, further synchronization development, site preferences, and more.
No word yet on a Linux version though. Opera Developer installs and runs without interfering with Opera Stable or Next installations.Advertisement