Opera browser gets improved sync and other new features - gHacks Tech News

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Opera browser gets improved sync and other new features

Opera Software released a new version of the company's mobile web browser for Google's Android operating system and a new desktop version of the web browser today.

The main reason for the simultaneous launch is that the company improved the synchronization feature that syncs data between the Android version and desktop versions of the Opera browser. Sync setup has been simplified significantly, as the entire process is now handled by scanning QR codes on devices and without having use an account to pair devices for the sync process.

While it is still possible to use an account and the benefits that comes with it, in particular the option to restore data on new devices even if access to all previous Opera installations is no longer available, it is not a requirement anymore. Opera users may use the account option to create a backup of data as using a second device is no requirement to use the functionality.

opera browser sync improved

Setting up sync is quite easy once the new versions of Opera are installed. Point your desktop browser to the following page on the Opera website to generate a unique QR code. Open the Opera browser on the Android device afterwards and go to Opera Menu > Settings > Sync and backup. Select Connect device on the page that opens and scan the QR code displayed in the desktop browser.

opera connect device sync

The improved synchronization functionality is not the only new feature of the releases. On the desktop, Opera Software introduces a new feature called Easy Files that helps users find recent downloads more quickly for sharing on the Internet. Basically, what Easy Files does is provide an interface that lists the most recent downloads so that users may pick these for sharing or uploading.

The system works really well and may speed up certain processes like downloading a file and uploading it to Virustotal, or sending downloaded files to a friend or contact.

opera easy files

Opera 60 for Android supports Flow now. Flow is not a new feature but it was reserved to Opera Touch and desktop versions of Opera in the past. With the new release for Android, Flow becomes available in the main Opera browser as well. Flow is a personal sharing feature to share links, articles, ideas, notes, and other content between mobile and desktop versions of the Opera browser.

Another addition to Opera for Android is the introduction of suggested sites that are displayed below the Speed Dial items of the user. Opera Software notes that the suggestions are taken from commonly visited sites, open tabs on other devices (if sync is enabled), offline content, and "fresh items of potential interest".

Now You: What is your favorite way of setting up and using sync?

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Opera browser gets improved sync and other new features
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Opera browser gets improved sync and other new features
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Opera Software released a new version of the company's mobile web browser for Google's Android operating system and a new desktop version of the web browser today.
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Comments

  1. some1 said on September 23, 2020 at 6:51 pm
    Reply

    Who still uses Opera?! Seriously why?! It’s just a Chromium copycat owned by a fishy Chinese company…

    1. ShintoPlasm said on September 23, 2020 at 7:14 pm
      Reply

      @some1: Apparently, millions of people use Opera and they have a fairly lively community. They have introduced some pretty nifty features over the years, and they’re still formally subject to Norwegian privacy laws.

      1. user said on September 23, 2020 at 9:44 pm
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm

        Yes. They have great features like a sidebar, VPN, mouse gestures, their own censorship-free add-ons store, built-in ad and tracking blocker, newscast, which can also be disabled, chromecast, currency converters, speed dial, battery saver, video popup, workspaces.

        Other browsers have a lot of catching up to get to the level of Opera and they won’t ever have a censorship-free add-on store as both Mozilla and Chrome have removed extensions for political reasons.

      2. Pork Bun said on September 24, 2020 at 12:01 am
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        “still formally subject to Norwegian privacy laws.”

        When was the last time there was a privacy review of it? Usually with such laws they sit around doing nothing until millions of users start complaining that their data wound up on the Chinese black market (which is operated by the CCP like everything else in China). Has Norway done anything about Google Chrome’s known spying? Or the spying in Windows 10? I am guessing it hasn’t done a damn thing!

    2. Iron Heart said on September 23, 2020 at 9:26 pm
      Reply

      @some1

      Chromium is the most solid basis for a browser there is. That Opera is spyware is unfortunate, but unrelated to Chromium. Ungoogled Chromium anyone?

      1. user said on September 23, 2020 at 9:38 pm
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        @Iron Haert

        Is there any publicae available proof that Opera is spying on anyone?

      2. ShintoPlasm said on September 23, 2020 at 10:32 pm
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        @user, Iron Heart:

        I predict that the next step will be a link to Opera’s privacy policy; I personally don’t see it as particularly evil.

        In fact, I have actually been in touch with Opera’s Privacy Team, and I’m satisfied with their response: their telemetry is bog-standard stuff, collecting feature usage information and suchlike, and can be disabled in the browser’s interface. Other third-party trackers and APIs are deployed to provide some very specific functionality (like the crypto-wallet), but I suppose you can expect that. They don’t hide their use of third-party SDKs for ad-hoc, specific needs. However, I cannot find any concrete evidence that Opera “spies” on its users or mishandles their data, despite the Chinese stakeholders.

      3. Fauszt said on September 24, 2020 at 10:08 am
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        How or why do you have contact with their Privacy Team?
        Opera is really an interesting browser but what keeps me away is the fact that the chinese own them. And that there are supposed to be “massive” advertisements. Where do they host the proxy servers for the so called vpn? And how big is the influence of the Chinese?

      4. Iron Heart said on September 23, 2020 at 11:56 pm
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        @user

        Yeah, Opera establishes a myriad of unsolicited requests upon start up. Their privacy policy (@ShintoPlasm, of course I‘ll point to this, it‘s their central statement regarding privacy after all) also contains some interesting bits:

        Section „Personalized ads“:

        „Based on advertising IDs and your general location, some of our mobile applications may serve targeted ads. These ads are provided by our monetization partners.“

        Section „Third Parties“:

        „ Our applications and services include third-party technology or code, some of which may use your data in different ways. When such third-party technologies use previously collected data, they typically act as data processors for us. When they collect data on their own, they typically act as independent data controllers.“

        In the following, they list the numerous third parties collecting data in Opera, each of them has their own privacy policy.

        Section „International Data Transfers“:

        „When we do collect personal data, such personal data may be transferred to partners in countries outside of the European Economic Area with a lower level of data protection than that provided for under European law. Whenever we do so, we require that our partners agree to the European Union’s model contracts for the transfer of personal data to third countries (also known as the “standard contractual clauses”) to ensure adequate protection of your personal data.„

        They say there that european standards of data protection are being kept, but at the same time they state that the data isn‘t protected by the law of the land when it comes down to it. Go figure.

        Section „News“:

        „To provide you with more relevant news content in certain countries and languages, we collect some information about the articles you read in the application’s native news feed, and your general location. This information is linked to a randomly generated News ID and may be stored on our servers up to three months.“

        Source for all quotes: https://www.opera.com/privacy

        I mean, we are not talking about ordinary telemetry or crash reports here. Why anyone would use Opera when alternatives like Vivaldi, Brave, or Ungoogled Chromium (if you can handle that one) are available is beyond me anyway. Which benefit does Opera even offer? I‘ve checked out the features they advertise and fail to see anything of value which others don‘t offer.

      5. computer said no said on September 24, 2020 at 1:10 pm
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        @iron Heart.
        i am not sure vivaldi’s privacy policy is that much better and uses similar diction in it’s privacy policy.
        not sure about brave but ubgoogled chromium sounds interesting.

      6. Iron Heart said on September 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm
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        @computer said no

        Vivaldi is better in that regard:

        https://vivaldi.com/zerotracking/

        Vivaldi is also (contrary to Opera) not completely closed source, it’s source available, meaning that they release the entire code with the exception of the UI which is proprietary / closed source. In case of the UI, this is pretty much Vivaldi’s selling point, so I guess they are just protecting their intellectual property here. Spying activities, if they happened, would be unrelated to frontend code.

        Brave has a better privacy than Opera, too:

        https://brave.com/privacy/

        Opera, Chrome, Edge are the worst browsers in terms of spying on their users. It’s not even close.

      7. Mike W. said on September 24, 2020 at 9:04 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        The question with Vivaldi is if their Dev team takes the time to actually strip out the Google code from Chromium or just leaves most of it and builds their custom UI on top of Chrome(ium). We know Brave strips out Google’s bits, and so does Microsoft (granted to replace them with MS bits), but I don’t know if Vivaldi has ever made it super clear on that front.

        I’ll also say Microsoft Edge is probably slightly less “evil” privacy wise than Chrome or Opera since Microsoft is a services company. Google and Opera make their profits through advertising. That isn’t to say Edge is some privacy behemoth or anything ridiculous like that, but I don’t recoil in fear as quickly when a friend or family member is using Edge or Safari as I do when they use Chrome or Opera.

      8. Iron Heart said on September 28, 2020 at 11:25 am
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        @Mike W.

        If you analyze Vivaldi’s outgoing connections, you’ll find that they gutted pretty much all unsolicited requests Chromium makes to Google. The only ones it still establishes are for Google SafeBrowsing (security feature, can be disabled in Vivaldi’s settings) and checks for extension updates in case you have installed any from the Chrome Web Store.

        Same story for Brave. Ungoogled Chromium is not establishing any connection to Google whatsoever, and while you can probably live with that as far as Google SafeBrowsing is concerned, installing and updating extensions in Ungoogled Chromium can be a pain in the butt depending on which method you use.

        As far as I’m concerned, I see no point in making the life of users miserable by radically gutting all connections to Google, a few are legitimate and should be kept (namely: extension downloads & updates), I have SafeBrowsing disabled in Brave, though (I see no point in it, I subscribe to several anti-malware domain lists in Nano Adblocker).

      9. Iron Heart said on September 24, 2020 at 12:00 am
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        @user

        There is also this bit:

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/01/19/what-is-going-on-at-opera-software/

        To be fair, Opera ASA denies all of this. However, this bit might still be of interest when it comes to their overall perception, just check out the comment section.

      10. Mike W. said on September 24, 2020 at 1:31 am
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        @User
        Opera has a pretty terrible privacy policy. They aren’t alone in that, but setting aside the Chinese ownership boogeyman, all things being equal Opera is pretty awful when it comes to privacy. If people use it because they enjoy the features or whatever, fine, but to me Opera is right there with Google Chrome in terms of being pretty blatant about being terrible for privacy. Some people care about that stuff, some people don’t, but for those that DO care about privacy Opera is one of the worst choices you can make when it comes to picking a browser.

      11. Iron Heart said on September 24, 2020 at 10:50 am
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        @Mike W.

        Spot on, I have nothing to add to this.

      12. Anonymous said on October 9, 2020 at 8:26 am
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        “… Opera is right there with Google Chrome…”
        Damn rite about that. Its laughable when people say they don’t use Opera beacause their privacy policy but recommend: “Just use Google Chrome”. As for the Chinese ownership boogeyman, that’s just American cold war brainwash (everyone is out to get them – first it was the Russians now it’s the Chinese).
        You want privacy?
        1. Buy newspapers. 2. Use carrier pigeons for messaging.
        You want SOME privacy?
        – use Firefox with ghacks.js or googled chromium
        As for Opera: I use it for some of its features. The ones I dont use I disable in settings or ://flags.

    3. THE SPY said on September 24, 2020 at 2:14 am
      Reply

      If Edge which is a Chromium copycat owned by a fishy American company can find audience, why not Opera too?

      1. m3city said on September 24, 2020 at 12:48 pm
        Reply

        Well said. IMHO there is no difference between capitalist of US spying for money vs chineese companies spying for knowledge.
        But Opera itself is a quite nice browser. It does the job. Not my first choice, and I tend to check it up once a year.

  2. ken said on September 23, 2020 at 7:09 pm
    Reply

    Careful – Opera since 2016 was sold to a Chinese, China company.

    And we know the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under their law can get their hands on whatever data they want.

    1. CaptAmerica said on September 23, 2020 at 8:22 pm
      Reply

      Ken – agreed.

    2. user said on September 23, 2020 at 9:46 pm
      Reply

      Any proof there’s any spying going on? Are the servers even in China? No, on both counts. Stop with your conspiracy theories. At least China isn’t collecting citizens data illegally, contrary to a certain country which recently got condemned by a Jude.

      1. LOL said on September 24, 2020 at 12:39 am
        Reply

        sure…. seriously, people like you are the problem why Chinese keep getting away with anything and gaining more and more power.
        Oh let’s also believe that Tencent is just a nice company that decided buying a bunch of stake in gaming industry is just because they are nice and want to give people free games all day everyday.

        Do you have a proof they are NOT spying on you? we can also play the same game. Have you even tried to find out if they spy or not? look at all the people that find out app phones getting information they shouldn’t like TikTok… or is tiktok also a good guy because “poor chinese scammy people, people should trust them and stop thinking they are bad”.

        Stop spamming with your “have a proof?” BS and you give us proof they are NOT spying on people and stealing IPs and copying anything and giving a cheap copy of everything and enslaving people and killing people and destroying people. I will wait another 100 years for that.

      2. kl said on September 24, 2020 at 4:19 pm
        Reply

        @LOL
        why do you think everybody is american and everybody who visits this site is american?
        why do you think that the rest of the world cares who has more power, you or china?
        we care to get good products that work, there are billions of people of us out there who don’t care where our data end up, to you or china.
        sure we would prefer they stay in our country, but we don’t care if they end up to you or china. you are both foreign countries to us.
        opera is a fine product for us.
        you americans stop spamming with your “it’s chinese”.
        we don’t care if it’s american or chinese, this is a site available worldwide and we don’t care about your usa vs china power games.

      3. m3city said on September 24, 2020 at 12:54 pm
        Reply

        As Opera(tes) in Norway, they would be liable to norwegian law. I had a chance to know norwegians. Except they drink a lot when on vacation;), they are really, really serious about obeying laws and regulations. If a chinese owner was sipping data on users illegaly, then we would be alarmed already and norwegians would have a investigation on that, holding Opera by the balls. I would also challange the idea to track users of such a miniscule project as Opera browser. How many users vs other “trackable” sources are there? I would say it’s irrelevant.

      4. Mike W. said on September 24, 2020 at 8:58 pm
        Reply

        @m3city

        I see the “Opera is a Norwegian company” line all the time. The problem with relying on that alone is that that only “protects” you as a user if Opera screws up and gets caught with their pants down regarding privacy or user security. If Norwegian officials are never made aware of the fact that Opera is doing anything wrong, they probably aren’t going to make an effort to slap them on the wrist preemptively.

      5. m3city said on September 25, 2020 at 10:25 am
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        @Mike W.
        The thing is, if the chinese owner did sth unlawfull or unethical with this browser, then I’m sure that devs, managers, PR guys or whoever works there – would not stay silent. One would not have to fear for job conseqences.

  3. CaptAmerica said on September 23, 2020 at 8:23 pm
    Reply

    Opera should be ignored on principle as it is part of a machine that directly threatens the freedom and liberty of the entire planet.

    1. user said on September 23, 2020 at 9:36 pm
      Reply

      As far as I know they are not related to EU, US or Russia in any legal way.

      They provide a free VPN which allows people to browse information from all over the world despite government censorship, which becomes increasingly useful as these three imperialist organizations continue to ban more and more websites and services.

      They also don’t seem to be related to censorious, capitalist in name only, companies which encroach on the freedom of the web, like Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla or Google and the rest of Alphabet.

      1. Skynet said on September 24, 2020 at 11:13 am
        Reply

        Nice try at trolling. You are just coming across as a opera/cpp stooge. There are plenty of reasons not to trust them, opera, and even more reasons not to trust china (that list is practically endless). Sticking with opera, the top two for me are that it’s closed source and owners who have done dodgy things in the past, look at their AV. Saying they fall under someones privacy laws means pretty much nothing unless people are checking to see if any of those laws are being broken.

        It’s not as though opera has anything particularly special that you’d want to use. The sidebar isn’t unique and is really a tab bar not a sidebar at all, the free vpn isn’t a vpn at all it’s a proxie and you are mad if you trust it, mouse gestures aren’t unique either built in or via extension. So why would you want to support a company like that?

    2. m3city said on September 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm
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      @CaptAmerica – is that a sarcasm with your name? ;)

  4. Alex said on September 24, 2020 at 10:36 am
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    Allegations of spying through the Opera are just unverified rumors, and they are spread by some suspicious people who are connected with organizations with cryptic names …

    1. Iron Heart said on September 24, 2020 at 4:12 pm
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      @Alex

      Opera’s privacy policy says otherwise.

  5. JV said on September 24, 2020 at 5:38 pm
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    Useless discussion, 99,9% of browserusers don’t even know what to do when it comes down to privacy. They just use the browser they like. Period.

  6. Pierre said on September 24, 2020 at 6:30 pm
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    Interesting features as usual
    Unfortunately, it never works. There is always a reason, server which doesn’t work or other

  7. anona said on September 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm
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    I’m glad that My Flow is finally coming to the Android browser.

    “Opera Touch” is too simplified to take serious, but “Opera” for Android is simply the best mobile browser I’ve seen so far. It’s the main reason that makes me stick with Opera on the desktop, even though all the browsers are pretty much the same on desktop feature-wise thanks to extensions.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on September 25, 2020 at 9:18 am
      Reply

      Or you could just use Pushbullet on all your devices and browsers?

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