Opera 50 for Android is a major release

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 19, 2019
Google Android, Opera

Opera Software released Opera 50 for Android on February 19, 2019. The new version of the mobile web browser is a milestone release that introduces new functionality and improves existing features.

Opera 50 for Android introduces support for picture-in-picture viewing, quick scrolling to speed up scrolling on large pages, and more control over the built-in ad-blocker.

The new version of the mobile browser is available on Google Play and will be pushed to all Android devices it is installed on as an update.

Opera users may run a manual check for updates in the Play Store application under My apps & games.

Opera 50 for Android: what is new

opera 50 android features

Every modern browser seems to support picture-in-picture functionality these days. Mozilla is working on Picture-in-Picture functionality in Firefox, and Opera launched the feature in Opera 50 for Android today already.

The feature works as you'd expect it to: play videos in a small always-on-top overlay on the screen while you are free to browse to other sites without affecting video playback.

How you access picture-in-picture mode is a bit complicated: switch any video that is playing in Opera to fullscreen mode and tap on the Home button of the device to enter picture-in-picture mode.

The video continues to play in a smaller window that you may move around on the screen of the device. Double-tap on the video to go back to fullscreen mode or tap on the close icon to stop playback and kill the overlay window. Opera notes that the feature works on all sites that support picture-in-picture mode.

Opera 50 displays a scroll handle on pages when you scroll which you may use to jump to specific parts of the page quickly. It is an extra icon that you may drag up and down to scroll more quickly.

The third feature improves the built-in adblocker. Opera introduced the content blocker in 2016 by integrating it natively in the Opera browser. It was the first major browser to include a native ad-blocker.

It is now possible to disable the ad-blocker on specific sites in Opera for Android. Just tap on the icon next to the site address in the mobile version of Opera and toggle the "exclude from ad blocking" option displayed there to do so.

Designed as a feature to reward publishers users like and would like to see thrive, it is also useful for situations where the ad blocker blocks site content or even access to a specific site.

Opera 50 does not feature the recently introduced VPN feature (browser proxy) in Opera for Android. The feature is available in beta versions of Opera for Android and it is unclear when (if) it lands in Opera Stable for Android.

The new version of Opera is available in three new languages: Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian.

Now You: Which mobile web browser do you use primarily and why?

Opera 50 for Android is a major release
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Opera 50 for Android is a major release
Opera Software released Opera 50 for Android on February 19, 2019, a new milestone release of the company's mobile web browser.
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  1. Operator said on February 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Opera Touch, the normal one doesn’t have myflow or gesture navigation. And sometimes Duckduckgo’s browser.

  2. Sebas said on February 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Opera beta latest version been using for a few days, it block pop ups quite nicely so far. Vpn is enabled for all tabs. I do not trust this Chinese software in promising not to log, but I seldom use a browser on my cell phone. I suppose the VPN will find it’s way in the regular Opera.

  3. DontSinkME said on February 20, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Hey Martin, I do most of my mobile web browsing on Firefox stable with addons such as decentraleyes, ublock origin, https everywhere and cookie autodelete . But, brave has been slowly getting my time too, but I find it’s native ad blocker to be less agressive than ublock, so until they let us subscribe to filters, firefox will always be my go to.

    And, if I may ask, should opera really be used by privacy minded folks like us, since it’s acquisition by a chinese company and more so because it is not a open source project . But, this is your job and you have always done it right, so kudos .

    btw which browser or browsers do you prefer right now as your default on mobile and desktop ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 20, 2019 at 11:15 am

      I use Firefox Nightly on the desktop, and have all other major browsers installed and use them as well. Some, for specific tasks, e.g. research, others as general purpose browsers.

      I don’t use the Internet much on mobiles, but use Chrome and Opera mostly there. Hoping that the new Firefox will change that.

  4. clake said on February 20, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Bromite browser lately, but Fennec F-Droid with ubo is on standby. Both work on Android 4.1 +

  5. Zardoz said on February 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I use Opera, because it’s fast and has a built-in adblocker. Opera is my choice on my computers as well, really happy with it. The other day I installed a custom ROM on my friends old tablet, set it up and installed Opera on it too. He picked up the tablet and wondered where Google Chrome was. “isn’t that what I should use?” he said.. I made him click on the Opera icon and visit YouTube. Never ever had that old Galaxy Tab 2 showed a video so fast, he was amazed/impressed and went home to replace Google Chrome on his computer with Opera.

    1. Weilan said on February 19, 2019 at 4:46 pm


      That’s cool, but Opera on mobile can’t block popups, only Firefox with extensions can do it. And a browser that can’t block popups is useless.

      1. Luzandro said on February 20, 2019 at 8:12 am

        Well your mileage may vary, but I can’t think of a single time, where I had problems with popups on mobile. The main drawback of Operas ad blocker for me was, that there were no exceptions, but that’s finally gone.

      2. Luzandro said on February 20, 2019 at 1:16 pm

        actually Opera has an option to block popups that is independent from the ad blocker

  6. Tobias said on February 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Fennec (Firefox fork) – you can get it via the F-Droid repository and it supports add-ons like adblocker “uBlock origin”. At the same time I’m waiting for Vivaldi mobile. But their promised mail client has priority for me :)

  7. Weilan said on February 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    None of this matters if the browser doesn’t offer some form of powerful (and aggressive) popup blocking capabilities. At this point, the only Android browser that can block popups and ads adequately is Firefox, because you can install uBlock Origin and Popup Blocker Strict.

    All the browsers that don’t have popup blocking are completely useless as many websites rely on rogue popups to show you ads and redirect you, and you can never know when you will encounter such a website, so better make sure and use Firefox as your only browser with the extensions to block unwanted content.

    1. Heimen Stoffels said on February 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      And Yandex.Browser, which also allows you to install uBlock Origin and various popup blockers from the Chrome Web Store.

    2. nealis said on February 20, 2019 at 12:18 am

      Firefox android has a pretty intuitive mobile friendly UI, I think it is better than Chrome vanilla on android, but the performance is so bad compared to Chrome and the various Chrome reskins. I only use it on non english sites that have a habit of rogue ads and popups, but everything else I use Brave which has a built in adblocker.

      If the Firefox android overhaul is as good as Mozilla advertises it to be, I will permanently switch to Firefox android, but it just easy ready for prime time yet.

    3. though said on February 19, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Is a dedicated popup blocker really necessary next to uBlock Origin? I only use the latter, but I don’t recall the last time I got a popup. Maybe it depends on the specific sites visited, or filter lists used.

  8. MdN said on February 19, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    My primary browser is Samsung Internet Beta with AdBlock or Adguard extension. It’s perfect for one-hand use, blocks ads and 3rd party cookies, has a “jump to top” button, a scrollbar, Dark mode and a bunch of other features that make it easy, fast and efficient. I use it for pages where I’m logged in (I don’t use apps for Facebook, Twitter etc), pages where I usually read articles and generally less intrusive or bloated pages, but I don’t surf with it.
    My secondary is the Privacy Browser from F-Droid, full version. Changed user agent, disabled javascript and cookies, blocks ads, also great for one-hand use, no telemetry, and when I close it completely clears the history. I use it to read news and some big bloated websites load faster, I just need text and some images, and I can flick through 10-20 pages in a few minutes until/umless I find something interesting.
    Third one – Firefox Focus, if I need to look something up quickly or go to some website that I’ll never visit again. One button clears the history.
    Special mention goes to Brave – the interface isn’t so good (same as Chrome, hard to go to bookmarks etc) but it blocks ads and you can set rules (javascript etc) for every page you bookmark.
    Of course, there’s Blokada blocking the rest of tracking, ads and telemetry on top of those. All in all, fast and efficient and private enough. I tried Opera (and Opera Mini) but it was sending something like 10-20 analytic requests for each page I wanted to visit, no idea if they changed that.

  9. Robin said on February 19, 2019 at 1:23 pm


  10. Pierre said on February 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm


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