Opera has just made the new version of its browser available for download from the Google Play store. The new Opera browser now uses the WebKit, an open source rendering engine. This is a huge shift for Opera which has dropped the Presto engine that it had been using until now. This new beta version has gone through a major makeover on the front end as well; with new features and better performance.
Just like chrome, the new Opera version too will have the URL and search bars unified. It supports many of Android’s native user interface features but also still has Opera’s own unique features such as the Speed Dial which helps easier access to favorite sites. The links will be a confined selection of the favorite pages that will show up on new tabs. The new Opera treats the links like bookmarks and it can be organized into folders.
New features include the Off-road Mode that enables a proxy-browsing technology that has been designed to work with the slow network connections. The Discovery tool is for people who would love to browse content customized to their interest. The start-up screen has been significantly improved. The start screen interface now stands ahead of the competition as it is more spontaneous, more feature rich and more attractive than the other browsers present in the android platform.
The features that made Opera popular amongst the mobile users previously like the optional server –side compression that reduced data usage and fast page loads and the ability to save pages for offline reading are still present in the new Opera version intact.
The iOS version of the new browser will be out soon probably within the month according to the CEO of Opera – Lars Boilesen who also mentioned that they are rebuilding its personal computer versions too based on the WebKit engine. Presto will probably released to the open source community to tinker around with.
I gave the new browser a go on my Nexus 7 which ran smoothly and “Off-Road” mode showed more than 80% savings in bandwidth which is amazing if you are on a mobile data connection.
Click here to download Opera.