Reborn, a new design for the Opera web browser was revealed when Opera Software released Opera 44 Developer to the public. Reborn is not a complete change of the look and feel of the web browser, but a modernization of the interface without changing any of the functionality of the browser.
One of the changes that came along with Reborn was support for Facebook Messenger in the browser's sidebar. The feature used the sidebar's capability to display web content in it. So, what Opera Software did was integrate the web version of Facebook Messenger in the sidebar.
Later on, support for WhatsApp was introduced in a similar fashion.
The most recent Developer version update of the Opera browser added Telegram Messenger support to the mix. The feature works similar to Messenger and WhatsApp: it is not enabled by default, and users need to activate it by clicking on the Telegram icon, and following the process to sign in to a Telegram account using the web-based version of the messenger.
Once enabled, Telegram users can interact with their contacts directly from Opera's sidebar.
Opera users can hide any of the messenger icons -- and other icons -- of the sidebar by right-clicking on the sidebar and removing the checkmarks next to items that they don't want displayed there.
Opera Software should consider changing the display of messenger icons in the sidebar, especially if the company considers adding more to it in future versions. The sidebar could get quite crowded if the company adds more services to the sidebar.
One dedicated "chat" icon for all messengers, and the listing of all supported services on activation would probably be a better option.
Another change in regards to the supported messenger services is that you can now log out of the service using a menu that Opera Software added to the interface. You had to use the web version of the service previously to do that.
Click on the new menu icon (the three dots) when the chat window is open, and select the log out option there. You find options to mute the messenger there as well. The latter option is useful if you don't want to be disturbed for a period of time.
Another change that Opera Software made to the browser is the new dialog that appears when you add bookmarks to the browser.
While the bookmark gets added right away, you may use the popup to change its location in the bookmarks, and get a visual confirmation that it was added to the browser.
While you did get a confirmation previously as well, as Opera painted the bookmark icon in red to indicate that the page is bookmarked in the browser, it "gives a clearer way of adding bookmarks for users who missed the confirmation".
A click anywhere else while the bookmark popup is open dismisses it.
Opera Software notes that the browser will "send even more videos to the GPU for decoding on Windows". If it works, it should result in lower battery usage, and higher resolutions and framerates.
Opera users may toggle the feature using the chrome://flags/?search=media#media-windows-mf-demuxer flag.
A handful of smaller changes went into Opera 45 Developer as well. Mac users may make the sidebar smaller so that it looks like the one on Windows. This is done via Settings > Browser > Sidebar > Enable Narrow Sidebar.
The browser's built-in advertising blocker was improved as well. If you toggle ad blocking now for instance, you will notice that the active page is reloaded automatically.
Another important change affects the lists that Opera uses to block content on the Web. The new feature gives you control over those lists, so that you may enable or disable them.
Now You: What's your take on the changes in Opera Developer?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.