A web browser is meant to be something that people rely on when surfing the web. But the internet has evolved, and it's not anymore about just websites and data.
Opera is the popular web browser that competes in the likes of Google Chrome, Apple's Safari and Mozilla Firefox. Like its competitors, it's well-built and supports various of customization and security. But unlike others, it's penetrating the market by becoming more than just a tool for simple browsing.
Previously, Opera has added features like a built-in ad blocker and a VPN. In May, the company is releasing an update for its desktop users on Mac, Windows and Linux that introduces access to Facebook's Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram, right from the browser's sidebar.
Users can switch from one service to another whenever they like. They can pin messaging tabs for easier access, or use shortcuts to jump between them.
What's more, users can also share images quickly between those services by dragging and dropping pictures on the messenger's icon.
The feature is part of the browser's update, officially known as Opera version 45, or 'Reborn'. It was first introduced and launched on Opera's concept browser' Neon, revealed in January. The browser replaces tabs for icons and popout videos allowing the Norwegian software maker to test new ideas before bringing to them to the standard Opera browser.
With this feature, Opera has the ability to lure people from using competitors' web browsers by going after those messenger's massive number of users. The update here is meant to create convenience, making Opera a one-stop solution from common everyday tasks of using the internet.
WhatsApp already offers a web version, and Facebook Messenger is similarly available on a desktop. But they are available via tabs. On the other hand, Opera takes the matter a little differently as the update runs them as apps on the browser itself.
The only major issue here is that users will need to juggle through a lot more tabs when chatting with people. As the number of extra tabs adds up more quickly, they need to juggle to a whole lot more tabs.
Other changes in Opera 45 Reborn include new icons and animations in private mode. It includes a rather flashier color (including a dark theme), refined tabs and a slightly larger sidebar. The new tab page wallpaper can be changed to a variety of images.
On the backend, Opera 45 that is based on Chromium 58, supports IndexedDB 2.0. This eases the browser to work with larger data sets. The IndexedDB 2.0 features new schema management, bulk action methods, as well as a more standardized feature to handle failures.
As a result, object stores and indexes can be renamed in-place after refactoring, providing better performance and faster browsing experience.
The next is an improvement to iframe navigation. Opera 45 supports the new iframe sandbox keyword allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation. This keyword gives sandboxed iframes the ability to navigate the top-level page when triggered by user interaction, while still blocking auto-redirects.
The update also includes numerous API changes, removing deprecated features, having the ability to send more videos to the GPU for decoding in order to improve performance and battery life, as well as adding an in-form warnings for sensitive fields when the top-level page is not HTTPS.