Opera Software announced the general availability of Opera 44 for the Android operating system earlier today. The new version focuses on delivering news faster to users of the mobile browser, and refreshes the browser's user interface as part of that.
All major browser makers, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera, have added or are in the process of adding news and other content to web browsers.
Microsoft Edge displays news on the New Tab page for instance, and Opera Software added a personal news section to recent versions of the web browser.
The new version of the Opera web browser rolls out currently. This means that you may not get it immediately, and that you may still download and install the previous version if you download the browser anew from Google Play.
You will notice one of the bigger changes of Opera 44 right away if you used a previous version. The new tab page or homepage of the browser displays news articles right below the Speed Dial bookmarks and search form at the top.
News are now readily accessible on that page, and not like in previous versions of the browser only in other tabs. These tabs are still there, but they are not highlighted anymore. You need to swipe to the left to display those, and the option to control what kind of news Opera displays to you.
A click on the plus icon opens the selector. You may change the desired country and language, and pick interests that Opera displays on the same page. Some interests, politics, sports, tech or crime are selected by default, but you can deselect them if you are not interest in them.
Users who are interested in news may turn on reader mode as well. This is set to automatic by default, and you can toggle reader mode in the address bar directly on individual pages. The settings provide you with a preference to disable or enable Reader Mode permanently.
Opera Software notes that the new version of Opera for Android comes with an improved address bar, a new tab gallery, and a new Opera menu on top of that.
The main focus of the release is on news however.
Now You: What's your take on news provided on a browser's new tab page?
Opera users who don't want news can turn them off in the Settings. This returns the new tab page to the previous layout so that only the search and address field, and the Speed Dial links are displayed on it.
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