Opera Software released a new stable version of the Opera web browser today that brings the version of the browser to 45.
The new version incorporates changes from Opera Neon, a reimagined browser that Opera Software released in the beginning of 2017.
One of the major changes of Opera 45 is the availability of a light and dark theme that users can switch between. Users may also pick from a selection of new background images that Opera created just for that purposes.
To modify the theme and wallpapers, either open a new tab page and select the customize button there to make changes right away, or open Menu > Settings > Browser.
Opera Software notes that the desktop team has updated the "entire layout" with "new, high-quality graphical design" that is more consistent across platforms.
The tabs are simplified, lighter and more elegant, making it easier to locate open tabs. The new sidebar is more subtle and refined with a touch of animation.
Icons are optimized for various DPI settings so that they look better regardless of device and screen that is used.
New icons are even more refined and elegant, and some even change colors when active. We have carefully optimized the icons for various DPIs in order to make them look perfect.
Opera 45 supports new animations, with the most notable one visible when you launch the browser in private browsing mode (using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-N, or Menu > New Private Windows).
The second big change of Opera 45 is the addition of Messenger links directly in the browser's side panel.
Opera Software added support for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram to the new browser version.
It allows you to chat with friends in the sidebar while you browse other sites using the browser.
All you need to do is sign in to the supported services to start using them. Opera implements the web-based versions of the chat programs in the browser. So, the main difference to opening the messenger websites directly is that it is easier to keep the messenger open side by side with websites in the browser.
You can switch between all Messengers using the Ctrl-Shift-M shortcut on Windows and Linux, or Command-Up-M on Mac OS X.
The third major change that went into Opera 45 is that the browser's ad-blocking capabilities were improved.
The Opera browser will reload pages automatically when you toggle ad-blocking in the browser, so that you don't need to do that manually any longer.
The second change is probably even more important: it allows you to manage which ad block lists are loaded. The two default lists are Easylist and EasyPrivacy, but users may load other lists in the following way:
Please note that you cannot add custom lists to the browser, as you are limited to the lists that ship with the browser.
Opera 45 ships with a handful of minor changes on top of all that. The browser will warn users when they activate password or credit card number form fields that are submitted via HTTP and not HTTPS.
Users on Windows may also notice better performance -- higher framerates, higher resolutions, and lower battery usage -- thanks to better use of the graphics processing unit for certain operations.
Last but not least, Opera 45 was updated to Chromium 58 which ships with IndexedDB 2.0 support, and support for new functions, APIs and more.
Existing Opera users will get the new versions through the browser's automatic updating, by running a manual check for updates via Menu > About Opera, or by downloading the new version for all supported operating systems from the official Opera website.
Now You: What's your take on the new Opera design, and the integration of messengers?
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