Opera Software released a new version of the company's Opera Browser to the Stable channel today. Opera 55 is a usability update for the browser for the most part that improves usability in several areas.
Opera Software highlights a new layout for the Settings page, an expanded security page and information pop-up, better Chrome Web Store extension installs, and bookmark accessibility improvements on the official blog.
The browser's automatic update function should pick up the new version already; just select Menu > Update & Recovery > Check for Update to run a manual check.
Any new version that is picked up during the check is downloaded and installed. Note that it is necessary to restart Opera to complete the update to the new version.
We talked about the new Settings page already when Opera launched it in Opera 55 Developer. Basically, what it does is restructure the current Settings page that displays settings in the four categories Basic, Browser, Websites, and Privacy & Security, into a single page similar to Google Chrome's Settings page.
We noted back then that the new layout may not be for everyone as it may take longer to get to settings because all are displayed on a single page and because of font size changes and whitespace adjustments.
The new Settings page is enabled by default. Opera users can disable it right now by setting the flag opera://flags/#new-md-settings to disabled.
A click on the site icon or lock icon next to a site's address in the Opera address bar displays the new site popup that the company launched in Opera 55.
The new popup lists security and content information about the site in question. You see whether the connection is secure and the certificate valid and the number of cookies that are in use are displayed by default as well.
Custom content settings are listed by the popup as well. If you allowed the site to access location automatically, you will see that listed in the popup. You can change the permissions right then and there, or use the site settings button to configure all of them on a new page.
Opera and Google Chrome have the same code base and it should not come as a surprise that Opera supports Chrome extensions for the most part because of that.
Opera users had to install a custom extension in the past to install extensions from Google's official Chrome Web Store.
Opera 55 changes this as it is now possible to install any extension from Google's Chrome Web Store in Opera directly.
The browser displays a notification when you open the page of an extension in the Store. A click on the "install extension" button installs it in the Opera browser.
Opera 55 displays the bookmarks bar by default in the new version of the browser. You can hide it at any time with a click on Menu > Bookmarks > Show bookmarks bar.
Five default bookmarks are displayed on the bookmarks bar if it has not been used before; likely sponsored bookmarks that Opera gets paid for if they include them in the browser.
You can remove any bookmark with a right-click on the bookmark and the selection of "move to trash" from the menu.
Opera 55 uses Chromium 68.0.3440.106 as its base. You can access the full changelog here if you are interested.
Here is a short list of changes not mentioned yet:
Opera 55 makes some things easier; it is now easier to install Chrome extensions in Opera. The workflow has improved significantly as it works out of the box now. The improved site popup is also useful as it provides direct access to custom content settings.
The new Settings page received mixed receptions; some users like it, others dislike it. The on-by-default bookmarks bar is introduced as another monetization option. It is easy enough to remove the bookmarks or hide the bookmarks bar if you don't find these useful.
Now You: What is your take on Opera 55?
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