Opera Software published the first preview version of Opera 43 to the Developer Channel today. The company plans to ship Opera 43 with a whole array of new features that include native Chromecast support, performance improvements, bookmarks exporting, Opera 12 link selection behavior and more.
The new Opera 43 Developer release is as usually available for download on the Opera website. Opera users who have installed it already may have been upgraded to the new version automatically if automatic updates are enabled.
You can verify the version of the browser by loading opera://about/ in Opera's address bar. If you see Opera Developer 43.0 on the page that opens you are already on the newest version of the browser.
Opera Software follows in Google's footsteps by enabling Profile Guided Optimizations (PGO) on Windows. Google announced this last month and claimed that enabling the feature would improve the browser's startup, page load and new tab page load time by 16%, 5%, and 14% respectively.
Opera Software did not reveal how much faster Opera 43 is because of PGO but it seems likely that it will have about the same improvements as Chrome considering that the two browsers share much of their code base.
Announced features that are not implemented yet
First, some features that Opera wants to introduce in version 43 but has not yet implemented in the first Developer edition.
Opera 43 will feature classic Opera 12 link selection. This means basically that you can select links just like you select text in the browser (without having to fear that you click on the link accidentally which can happen if you want to select part of the link text only). If you move the mouse horizontally, link text is selected, and if you move it vertically instead, the link is dragged.
This feature does not work properly in the first developer version as you will notice that both mouse movements drag the link.
Another requested feature is the exporting of bookmarks. Opera Software plans to introduce it with version 43 of the browser.
You find it under Bookmarks > Export Bookmarks once it is enabled. For now, it is not available. Bookmarks can be saved as a .html file on the local system using the feature.
Native Chromecast Support
A feature that is already available is native Chromecast support. You do need to enable it though first as it is hidden behind a flag currently.
- Load opera://flags/?search=media in the browser's address bar.
- Locate the Media Router experiment on the page.
- Use the menu of the flag to enable it.
- Restart Opera.
Address Bar Speculative pre-rendering
Opera 43 will pre-render (meaning load in the background) websites that you have loaded using its address bar in the past.
If you always type ghacks.net in the address bar to load my site, Opera 43 will recognize that eventually and start loading the site before you have completed typing the address.
This speeds up the loading time of sites as they are loaded while you are still busy typing the address.
Opera notes that this is also done for searches, but does not provide many details on that unfortunately.
It is unclear right now if the feature can be turned off. It could be linked to "predict network actions to improve page load performance" in the Opera Settings, but I have yet to confirm that this is indeed the case.
Now You: What's your take on the features?