Opera 55 Stable is out
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.
Site Information Popup
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.
Chrome Extension installs got a tad easier
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.
Bookmarks Bar is visible by default
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.
Full changelog and other changes
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:
- The Extensions page lists the Opera Ad Blocker as a recommended extension.
- Improved performance of bookmark searches.
- Fixed m4v video playback issue.
- Fixed Extensions keyboard shortcut button.
- Fixed several crashes.
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?
Now You: What is your take on the new Opera?
Can’t download and install spell check dictionary in Linux (Mint 18.3 Xfce), fresh install new profile.
Finally I can install H264ify. Goodbye Google Chrome, you patronizing colossus.
You don’t need h264ify in Opera – if you enable Battery Saving mode, the browser switches automatically to h264 from VP9. It’s built in.
I had to try to believe it. Your statement is not true, 100% not working. You got me, there’s one minute of my life I’ll never get back. Hope you’re happy. H264ify for the win!
What are you talking about? Start a YouTube video when on connected to the power, and verify youâ€™re seeing the video in VP9 through the stats for nerds. Disconnect the power cable and confirm that the little battery icon is blue (for power saving mode). Refresh the YouTube page, and restart/resume the video. Verify the codec through stats for nerds- it should be h264 now.
See there’s this one little problem: my laptop has a few years on it and the battery is dead. H264ify for the win! Oh and my other laptop is one of those big laptops with no battery and no screen, it’s a big box that’s connected to a big monitor. H264ify for the win! But hey, who knows, maybe the Opera developers will make mp4 default on youtube in all case scenarios one day…
Not sure if you think you’re funny.
My Opera 54 considered itself up to date, so I reinstalled 55 manually on top of it. This allowed me to realise that a portable version of Opera is now embedded in the regular version. At install, you are offered the choice to install for all users, for a specific user or to do a portable install. That’s a nice thing (and it may have been implemented ages ago), but it should have been explained outside of the software.
Generally speaking, I find that Opera is lagging very much behind Firefox as far as help and support are concerned. To me, help is a major feature in any program. One of the most important, in fact. Users do so much in a browser nowadays, it’s almost like an operating system. You can’t “just use it”. You need resources. You need a whole eco-system of help, forums, tutorials, how-to’s, tweaks, books (does anyone still read books ?). And blogs. Obviously.
That, Firefox offers, for all its faults.
Also, I was immediately pissed off by the new settings page. You need to do twice as many clicks to get anywhere, with no obvious logic. Opera is fast (and yes, that’s a requirement, never mind what the customisation freaks will tell you), it’s not made by Google, which is a plus, but it really needs to offer more in features and support.
One great thing that Firefox does not have is the left bar, with access to bookmarks, history, extensions, settings etc. This is so obvious that it should be in any browser. Maxthon had that ages ago. What it also had, and nobody has nowadays, I think, is an optionally collapsible left bar. Point your mouse to the left of the screen, see the left bar pop out into place. And dismiss it afterwards to regain screen real estate. Too user-friendly, too obvious for modern developers, who are too busy finding new ways to pump “data” out of us.
One bad thing, with Opera, is you can’t have regular menus on top of the screen. You know, menus. For people who know how to use computers, and would sometimes like to save one click when accessing some function.
I won’t mention bookmarks once again. Browser publishers have decided to ruin the lives of those who use bookmarks, and who want them locally. I’m really thinking about setting up my own independant database of bookmarks, cross-browser, however unsupported and clunky that might be.
I really don’t trust anymore any software developer to provide backward compatibility for bookmarks as a matter of course. Once upon a time, backward compatibility was part of the ethics of being a significant software publisher. You had to do it, because, well, it was just the right thing to do. Just like a doctor would not tell strangers about your ailments. That’s gone now, and the flippant disposal of the description field by Firefox was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Now my settings setting is broken. I applied the opera://flags/#new-md-settings = disabled thing to get rid of the new UI, changed a few other flags, found that the settings page was s-s-s-s-slow to scroll (not to mention the ridiculous Linux-like overly thin up-and-down thing on the right), reverted all flags to default, restarted… and the old settings page is still there.
I’m sick and tired of bad software.
Installing Chrome extensions : sorry nothing changed, it needs “install Chrome extensions” as before
Site settings : an important pogress
Yes, Mr. Brinkmann,
Pierre is right.
You made us happy during 5 minutes.
Now, the Google Webstore extension has to be re-installed again.