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15 Jun 12 Opera, the True Underdog Browser, Releases Version 12


Opera 12

When people refer to the five major web browsers, they’re talking about Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. With under two percent market share according to most sources, Opera is by far the least major of the majors, if you’re talking about sheer usage. The venerable Norwegian browser is, however, a nice product with lots of features, and one that’s frequently among the first to add new stuff.

Today, it’s releasing Opera 12, a new version for Windows, OS X and Linux. There are no radical changes that would prompt vast numbers of happy users of other browsers to switch. (Which is not a surprise: The last game-changing innovation in browsing was probably Chrome’s minimalistic emphasis on speed when it debuted back in 2008.) But there are some meaningful new features, such as:

  • Support for Do Not Track, the standard that lets you prevent advertising networks and other companies from monitoring your wanderings around the web.
  • Widgets that let the little web-page previews in Opera’s Speed Dial page provide dynamic content–for instance, there’s a Gmail one which shows the most recent messages you’ve received. (This replaces Opera’s stand-alone widgets, which the company is discontinuing.)
  • Support for access to webcams, without requiring the use of Flash. (This will only get interesting when web-based services such as video chat apps support it, which they surely will once all major browsers are on board.)
  • Themes that let you add wallpaper-type backgrounds to the browser frame with a couple of clicks.
  • “Experimental” support for hardware-accelerated graphics. (It’s turned off by default, and is tricky to enable–Opera says that it may actually slow things down in some cases.)
  • Opera says that version 12 is faster than previous editions. And it’s turning off Opera Unite, a web-server-inside-the-browser which the company once over-optimistically said was going to change the web forever.

The browser also retains some unique features–most notably its Opera Turbo mode, which compresses web pages on the server side so they load more quickly over sluggish Internet connections.

Really, the only argument against giving Opera 12 a test drive is that not every company bothers to ensure that its wares are Opera-friendly, which leads to some web sites and services behaving strangely in it. (For instance, HipChat, a workgroup chat service we use here at TIME, mysteriously removes the spacing after all commas.)

That said, using the new version is reminding me of all the things I like about Opera. I’m going to keep on using it as my main browser, at least for a while–most often, I use Safari on Macs and Chrome on PCs–and will let you know if I have further thoughts.

MORE ON BROWSERS: I recently explained why the “news” that Chrome is now the web’s biggest browser isn’t actually true.

Article source: http://techland.time.com/2012/06/14/opera-the-true-underdog-browser-releases-version-12/

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28 Oct 11 Google Chrome turns 15, Firefox goes Bing


October 26, 2011 By Mike Flacy

chrome-store

While speed has become less of an issue with each browser revision, Google and Mozilla are turning to expanded features to entice more users while Microsoft remains quiet about any changes to Internet Explorer.

Released late yesterday, Google issued a new update to the popular Chrome browser. Google Chrome 15 rolls out a variety of bug fixes as well as a brand new tab interface. The changes to the tabs interface separates the most-visited list of Web sites and the apps on separate pages. These pages can be accessed by clicking the left and right arrows on either side of the page. However, if the user has an app that overwrites the initial interface like Speed Dial, they won’t be able to access the new design without disabling the application.The new apps page allows the user to rearrange apps on the page and dispose of unwanted apps by dragging and dropping into a nearby trashcan. 

firefox-bingThe Chrome apps store also got a major visual overhaul and now includes reviews of apps that are linked to Google+ profiles. Users that enjoy reading an insightful review can follow a link back to the user’s Google+ profile and follow that person’s updates. However, the vast majority of reviews were created previous to the launch of Google+. Regarding bug fixes, Google eliminated eleven high-risk bugs and paid out just over $12,000 to developers that identified the bugs. In the works for Google Chrome 16, users will be able to take advantage of an auto-syncing feature that will automatically link profile information across computers by only logging into any Google service once. Chrome 16 is expected to launch in early December.

In the Mozilla camp, the company released a version of Firefox that is built with the Bing user in mind. This means Microsoft’s Bing is the default choice for a search engine when users type a keyword into the Awesome bar or the search box. This isn’t an exclusive partnership though. There are 20 other custom versions of Firefox that utilize other options for search.

More About: Bing, Chrome, Chrome 15, Chrome 16, Firefox, Google, Google Chrome, Microsoft, Microsoft Bing, Mozilla

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Article source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-chrome-turns-15-firefox-goes-bing/

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27 Oct 11 Google Chrome turns 15, Firefox goes Bing


Released late yesterday, Google issued a new update to the popular Chrome browser. Google Chrome 15 rolls out a variety of bug fixes as well as a brand new tab interface. The changes to the tabs interface separates the most-visited list of Web sites and the apps on separate pages. These pages can be accessed by clicking the left and right arrows on either side of the page. However, if the user has an app that overwrites the initial interface like Speed Dial, they won’t be able to access the new design without disabling the application.The new apps page allows the user to rearrange apps on the page and dispose of unwanted apps by dragging and dropping into a nearby trashcan. 

The Chrome apps store also got a major visual overhaul and now includes reviews of apps that are linked to Google+ profiles. Users that enjoy reading an insightful review can follow a link back to the user’s Google+ profile and follow that person’s updates. However, the vast majority of reviews were created previous to the launch of Google+. Regarding bug fixes, Google eliminated eleven high-risk bugs and paid out just over $12,000 to developers that identified the bugs. In the works for Google Chrome 16, users will be able to take advantage of an auto-syncing feature that will automatically link profile information across computers by only logging into any Google service once. Chrome 16 is expected to launch in early December.

In the Mozilla camp, the company released a version of Firefox that is built with the Bing user in mind. This means Microsoft’s Bing is the default choice for a search engine when users type a keyword into the Awesome bar or the search box. This isn’t an exclusive partnership though. There are 20 other custom versions of Firefox that utilize other options for search.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

More from Digital Trends

Google Chrome on track to overtake Firefox in 2011Internet Explorer usage to plummet below 50 percent by mid-2012Google Chrome overtakes Firefox in UK browser marketChrome 14 launches with Native Client, Lion support

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/google-chrome-turns-15-firefox-goes-bing-044805065.html

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