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Opera 9.5

A few days ago, the latest version of the Opera web browser (external link) was released: Opera 9.5. I've been a massive fan of Opera for a while now. The feature set is great out of the box (mouse gestures, tabs that work the way I expect them to, and the speed dial, just to name a few) and the speed is great. With the latest release comes many further enhancements:

Quotation by "Opera Software"

Opera Link: Your bookmarks, Speed Dial and even notes taken in the Opera browser can follow you anywhere. Opera Link keeps you synchronized between any Opera 9.5 desktop browser and Opera Mini, Opera's free browser for your mobile phone. In Opera 9.5 write a note - copy directions, create shopping lists or jot down anything you need to remember - and access it on any Opera 9.5 browser by simply logging in.

Find anything: Remember a word from a page you've read earlier? Find that page easily with Quick Find. Just enter a word in the address bar to find matching text from any page you have visited.

Looking sharp: Opera makes a move to modernize its look and feel to a sharp new skin with clean lines and clear icons. The 'New Tab' button and other elements have been modified to make the switch to a better Web experience more intuitive. You may also select any of our platform-specific skins to help Opera's appearance adapt to your operating system of choice.

Strengthened defence against malware and phishing: Opera's Fraud Protection not only protects you from fraudulent Web sites, it is now the first browser publically available to protect you from malware and other malicious software on the Web. Powered by Haute Secure, Netcraft, and PhishTank, Opera's Fraud Protection technology automatically blocks offending Web pages to keep you out of harm's way.

Speed: Opera continues to lead in performance. Opera 9.5 makes dramatic speed improvements to the e-mail client, RSS feeds and the browser itself, so you can spend more time getting things done online.

Personally, I don't use the built-in email client nor the built-in RSS reader, so I can't comment on those specific speed improvements; however, browsing as a whole does seem slightly faster than previous versions.

Screenshot of Opera\'s new Quick Find feature

Quick Find is a nice feature to have, but sometimes words I try return no results even though I know that word was on a page I just visited. Possibly, it could be because I messed with the history settings in previous versions, which might have turned it off.

Screenshot of Opera\'s new stylish default skin

One of my favourite new features is the improved default skin. The previous default skin was very dated and well overdue for a complete overhaul. The new skin looks very nice, with the grey toolbars and the clear icons. The tabs bar is very distinctive, as it's a darker grey, which makes it stand out well and I also like the new tab button. I think the new skin works very well with Vista, but when I installed it on an XP machine it really didn't fit with the look of the rest of the system and it looked terrible. I'm not sure how it looks on other operating systems either.

Apart from the feature improvements listed above, there was also good progress made in supporting CSS3, with all the selectors fully implemented. As always, Opera does well with supporting web standards.

Overall I'm happy with the new version and I'm looking forward to seeing how the Opera team plans on making the browser even better in the future! You can download Opera 9.5 (external link) for free from Opera's website.

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Comments

  • The new design is a Scandinavian design-style and it does look nice. They default to it even on OSX where they have added a new Mac OSX-ish style skin. I'm using it now. It looks nice, but it still isn't entirely OSX looking.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Tue 17 Jun 2008 at 16:33