Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It

After what seems to have been an age, Opera 15 has finally left beta and it is available to download. The latest, much anticipated iterati...

Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It

After what seems to have been an age, Opera 15 has finally left beta and it is available to download. The latest, much anticipated iteration has had a  bold step into the future, along with the process has shed a huge amount of baggage.

It may seem ridiculous now, however when I was much younger, I forked over the great wad of funding for Opera, an innovative web browser from Norway. I took it home, excited at finally having the ability to ditch the slow, clunky internet browser that was bundled with my ISP. At the time, I remember thinking how amazing it absolutely was and how Opera would come to dominate the web browsing world.

Years have passed subsequently. Firefox and Google Chrome have burst on top of the scene and Opera’s luster has dulled somewhat. Belarus’s favorite internet browser is fighting back though, with a radical overhaul. But would it be any good?

Look And Feel

Opera employed to differentiate itself from your pack by cramming in numerous features as you possibly can. These ranged from your rather nice email client, to integrated Bittorrent functionality. These have been completely excised.

Excluding the RIAA, this hasn’t been received everything well, with die-hard Opera users noisily wailing and moaning. However, it’s its not all bad news. Opera Mail will be released as being a stand-alone application and also at the expense of convergence, we have been given an interface that feels remarkably sleek and well oiled.

At first glance, it looks like any other web browser. But beyond that, you’ll note that there have been some decisions concerning the design that produce the user experience something to marvel at. Even something as simple as seeing download progress and history has become made more immediate by the inclusion of a button on the address bar. Perhaps that’s emblematic in the design philosophy behind Opera 15. Everything you need and desire is easy to access and incredibly functional. Everything else - the chaff - is removed.


When you type a query in to the address bar, you aren’t just sent right to Google, but in the option to search Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia. You don’t should edit any settings either. It’s just there; Obvious, yet unobtrusive.


Creating a good looking user experience is difficult. Sometimes, less is more and whilst at first glance Opera seems a bit barren, you eventually realized that the developers have made a number of very sensible decisions who have resulted in an attractive, intuitive browser.

A New Rendering Agent

Perhaps the most noticeable change for Opera is it has ditched its aging Presto rendering engine and replaced it with Blink - the WebKit spin off that has been developed by Google in tandem with Opera Software.

Blink was announced early in 2010 and as it exists right now, it appears and feels like WebKit, however much of the legacy bulk that came with WebKit has been removed. Perhaps one of the most exciting argument for Blink’s existence is the fact that Google is now offering a greater amount of treatments for the development process of computer ever did with Webkit. I’m looking forward to seeing what Google and Opera do with this new project.

One of the best things concerning the move to Blink is that as being a result with the adoption of an more mainstream rendering agent, compatibility issues that plagued the sooner iterations are a thing in the past. Mercifully, Opera runs and feels as though Google Chrome.


HTML5 rich websites work beautifully with no evident compatibility issues. The usual suspects of WordPress, Gmail and Facebook work with no hitch either. It is like Opera a Damascene conversion and was reborn as a possible entirely new software package.

It’s remember this that Blink is really a technology in the infancy. Time will tell whether the developers behind Opera have backed the correct horse or if they must have gone with all the longer established WebKit rendering agent. However, for probably the most part, it feels speedy and works painlessly.

Extensions and Features

A major bugbear for Opera users happens to be the dearth of extensions readily available for the platform. Indeed, whilst Firefox and Chrome aficionados got all of the cool toys to learn with, the Opera extensions marketplace felt as barren because the app store on WebOS.

This has stopped being the case. Since Opera now shares Google Chrome’s rendering agent, it will affect have access to each of the cool stuff fans of Mountain View’s offering have experienced for years. These include Evernote, Pocket and maybe most crucially social websites sharing wunderkind Buffer.


You’d expect how the amount of extensions designed for Opera would pale in comparison to other more popular web browsers. But that’s totally not the situation. I found most from the extensions I use in my day job were designed for download, including some rather popular commercial ones such as LastPass.

Some functionality from Chrome is carried over too, such as the rather handy ‘Inspect Element’ tool. This works as you’d expect, and it has allow me to change to Opera for my regular job, involving a great deal of debugging Javascript. As a result, Opera is like a viable choice for web developers.


Should you happen to live in an area where Internet speeds are poor, you’ll likely be pleased to hear that Opera has an included a features that aims to make one of the most of lackluster connections.


Curiously named ‘Off-Road Mode’, it's got nothing to do with using the Internet when disconnected in the Internet. Instead, it will take advantage of SPDY, the newest Internet protocol from Google, as well like a proxy and server-side compression. This should be a relief to the people amongst us who live in rural areas, or take presctiption dial up.

It’s not merely for slow Internet too. A rather amusing side-effect of Off-Road Mode is always that it unblocks sites which are being filtered in the UK, including The Pirate Bay. Since all traffic has pushed through servers in Norway, you don’t have to worry about any with the numerous ISP level blocks that have been placed in recent years.



Opera 15 isn’t revolutionary, yet after just 48 hrs of using it, Google Chrome no more has pride of place on my OS X dock bar.

Despite an absence of bells and whistles, things feel functional and fast. What features are mixed together in Opera are graceful, well designed and have some utility. It’s extensible, and most importantly, it’s fast. Really, really fast.

Time will state whether Opera will regain the position that it once held in the late 90′s heyday. However, having a product which is as wonderful and well polished because this, it’s difficult to imagine it not.

So, are you gonna be switching to Opera?






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SharedTutor Tutorials For Everyone: Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It
Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It
SharedTutor Tutorials For Everyone
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