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In its Version 15 release, several new features have been added to Opera for computer operating systems.
In its Version 15 release, several new features have been added to Opera for computer operating systems. And one has been removed, though you may not miss it. Opera Next 15 is available for Mac OS X and Windows, with a Linux version to come.
From Presto to Blink
Prior versions of Opera ran on a proprietary engine, Presto, originally developed by Opera Software. Webkit was the engine that powered Chrome, but Google created their own fork of it, Blink, to slim down and optimize the codebase. Opera Next 15 is built upon Chromium, the open-sourced version of the Chrome browser, which uses Blink.
New extensions format incompatible with the old
Opera Next 15 uses Chromium’s extension model. So extensions that originally ran on older versions of Opera are incompatible with this newest browser. Opera Software has been encouraging Opera developers to rewrite their old extensions to the new format by providing them with tutorials and a converter tool.
Opera Software describes the new GUI of Opera Next 15 as being “radically simpler.” That’s certainly so compared to the last version of Opera for computers, 12.15, in the ways tools have been combined, hidden or removed. But then there are the new features that are visually prominent inside a newly opened tab.
Group shortcuts together in Speed Dial
Speed Dial, the GUI that appears within every newly opened tab where you can set shortcuts to your favorite links, gets an additional function. In Opera Next 15, you can group shortcuts together into folders and assign the folders names, by dragging-and-dropping a shortcut onto another one -- this works pretty much like it does when grouping app icons together in Android or iOS.
Stash web pages
The idea behind the Stash feature is to give you a place within Opera Next 15 where you can temporarily save pages you come across that you’d like to look at later, but don’t want to have to save them as bookmarks. When you’re viewing a page you want to “stash” away, click the heart icon on the far right of the address bar. Later when you want to visit a stashed page again, you open a new tab and click the Stash button. You’re presented with snapshots of all your stashed pages. Click on one of them to go to that page.
Discover: Force-fed news
This feature, which is accessed when you click the Discover button that’s on every newly opened tab, pushes the latest news and feature articles to your Opera Next 15 browser. You can select the categories of articles you want to receive, but cannot choose specific news sources nor can you add your own. Discover can’t be switched off either; you must have at least one news category on.
Address bar and search bar combine forces
The address bar and search box have been brought together into one: enter a web address, or, when you enter words, you get search term suggestions and can select which search engine you want to provide you with results.
Dev tools hidden, but still there
Access to developer tools -- which include Web Inspector -- has been switched off by default to help simplify Opera Next 15’s UI. You can make them available again by going to “More tools” and selecting “Enable developer tools.”
Compresses incoming data to speed up loading web pages
A feature originally developed for the various mobile versions of Opera, Off-Road apparently is the new name of Opera Turbo: a setting mode that will compress incoming data. This can help speed up the loading of pages, and is useful if your Internet connection is slow or spotty. When activated, Off-Road routes requested pages through the Opera company’s servers first, where they are compressed, and then sends them to your Opera Next 15 browser.
Farewell to the email client
Older versions of Opera included an email client called M2. It’s been ditched from Opera Next 15 to slim down the browser’s codebase and filesize. M2 has been spun off into its own standalone program, Opera Mail, for those who still used it.