Opera Software has released Opera 19 Stable today, or more precisely, Opera 19.0.1326.56. The company maintains three different versions of the Chromium-based version of Opera currently, with Next and Dev the other two ones.
Opera 19 is the fifth major stable version of the new Opera web browser; justification enough to take a look at this new version to see what has been changed since our last review.
What may interest veteran Opera users the most is whether Opera Software managed to include the majority of missing features -- when compared to Opera 12.x -- into Opera 19 Stable.
The answer is a resounding no, that is not the case. So what is new in Opera 19? First, there is the bookmarks bar that is now available in Opera Stable. To display the bookmarks bar, click on the Opera button, select Settings (or use Alt-P to get there directly), and check the "show the bookmarks bar" option under user interface here.
There is unfortunately no keyboard shortcut or menu option to display and hide the bookmarks bar directly in the browser.
The bookmarks bar supports all the features that you expect it to. You can drag and drop sites there, click on the plus icon to add sites manually, or right-click on it to add folders to it to squeeze even more sites onto it.
Another new feature is the ability to create your own -- lightweight -- themes. How that is done? Simply right-click on any image that you come across while you are browsing the Internet, and select "use image as theme" from the context menu.
That image is then applied to the new tab page background. Note that it does not change any interface element in the browser or another page in Opera besides the new tab page.
Apart from those two features, several additional features have been added that change the browser in minor ways. You can now adjust the number of columns on the start page for example, disable the 1 pixel spacing on top of the tab bar, or hide the search box on the Start Page if you so desire.
Note that you need to enable hardcore mode before some of the options become available. I explained how you can do so here.
The Opera Desktop team is slowly adding features to the browser. While we see huge increases in version, there are still many features missing from Opera 19 that would make it on par with Opera 12.x functionality-wise.
A Linux version is still no where to be seen for example, customizable mouse gestures are missing too, as are a decent download manager, a full bookmarks manager, or the ability to manipulate the browser interface.
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