Opera 38: Find out what is new
Opera 38 Stable was released on June 8, 2016. It features a new power saver mode as well as other improvements.
The new Opera browser version is already available, and users can update the stable version of the browser using automatic updates, or by downloading a copy from the Opera website.
You can perform a manual check for updates in Opera by loading chrome://about. This reveals the current version, and whether an update is available.
If an update is detected, it will be downloaded automatically and installed thereafter.
The core new feature in Opera 38 is a Power Saver mode. I reviewed Opera's Power Saver mode when it was launched in the Developer Edition of the web browser, and suggest you check it out for details on how it works.
Basically, what it does is offer to save power when the device is not plugged in so that it can be used for a longer period of time without requiring to be charged.
Opera modifies several under the hood parameters when you enable Power Saver mode in the browser.
- Reduce background tab activity.
- Wake cpu less often.
- Pause unused plugins automatically.
- Frame Rate is capped to 30 frames per second.
- Video playback parameters are tuned, and use of hardware accelerated video codecs is enforced.
- Animations of browsers themes are paused.
Opera displays a battery icon in the browser's address bar when the power cable of the device is unplugged. A click on it displays the power saving controls which you use to turn the feature on or off.
According to Opera, Power Saver may prolong battery life by up to 50% when enabled when compared to Google Chrome (with ad blocking enabled).
It is important to note that mileage may vary, and that we have no independent benchmarks right now.
Opera Software published a video that demonstrates the effectiveness of Power Saver in Opera by comparing a version of Opera with Power Save enabled to one with Power Saver disabled.
An added benefit of using Power Saver is that the chance of overheating drops as the device won't get as warm when Power Saver mode is enabled.
According to Opera, a laptop running Opera with Power Saver mode enabled is over 3 degrees Celsius cooler as a laptop with Opera running without Power Saver mode.
That's of course only the case if you are using Opera at the time.
Other Opera 38 changes
Opera 38 features a number of additional changes or feature additions besides Power Saver mode.
Custom ad-blocker lists
The built-in ad blocker of Opera received a new feature that enables you to load custom block lists which the blocker then uses on top of the native list that it makes use of (EasyList and EasyPrivacy).
Speed Dial menu
A new icon is displayed when you hover over a Speed Dial entry on the new tab page. It displays the same menu that you get when you right-click on an entry giving you options to open the site, edit it, or move it to the trash.
Add photo as theme background
It is now easier to add a custom image or photo as the theme background in Opera. Simply open a new tab page and click on the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner.
Enable themes if it is not enabled already, and click on the plus icon to load an image from the local device and make it the background image of Opera.
Another change on the Speed Dial page is a quick link to the Extensions Manager. It is displayed on the left side underneath other icons that have been listed there already in previous versions (e.g. history, bookmarks and so on).