Opera 9.5 out today: free browser with some unique twists

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Opera has released their new browser today, Opera 9.5, which is free to download immediately. So, the question that most of you will want answered is, “Why on Earth should I care?”

Well, if you happen to be using Internet Explorer, then you should care a lot, as IE is rubbish. However, even those who are awaiting the release of Firefox 3 on 17th June should take note, as there’s one or two handy features on Opera 9.5 that even Mozilla hasn’t thought of.

The most interesting, for my money, is Opera Link which synchronises all your Opera browsers on all of your internet devices. So, any changes you make to the settings on your work computer’s browser – bookmarks, plug-ins, etc – will take effect automatically on your home computer too, unless, of course, you’d rather it didn’t, and that also applies to the Opera 9.5 mobile browser on your phone which also comes free with the download.

The new version comes with a nine-slot “Speed Dial” option, as shown on the image, it has increased performance and security but the other feature I like is the “Quick Find” history search which allows you to search through your browsing travels in an easier-design desktop fashion. That’s a very nice touch.

For those two reasons, I’d say take a peak at Opera 9.5 or Flock, if you’re a social network hound, and weigh them up against the Fox. I still know which way my bread’s buttered though.

Opera 9.5 (via Trusted Reviews)

Related posts: Social browser, Flock, picks up Webby | Firefox 3, candidate 2

Daniel Sung

6 comments

  • @Daniel Sung

    Actually Firefox borrowed their “awesome bar” from Opera 9.5. Except Opera’s is even more awesome since it searches the full text on the page, and not just the title and URL!

  • I started using IE6 & 7 and at the time they seemed ok, that was until i looked into other browsers.

    So far i have tried Netscape, Safari, Maxthon and Firefox, as well as Opera. It’s now my browser of choice.

    Unlike the others it has all of the features i want it to have, without the need to “Add Extensions” to get it to do the things i want.

    It’s ammusing to see that Firefox have advertised the “New Speed Dial” feature, which Opera has built in from scratch (I think Opera had it first…)

    I also like Opera’s ability to deal with Torrents, this makes downloading things much easier.

    Having these features built into Opera, without the need to download/add further content makes Opera compact yet feature rich.

    An excellent all round browser (much faster spedds than IE7 also helps lol)

  • Speed Dial isn’t actually new in 9.5, and I simply use it for my nine most frequently visited bookmarks that I don’t just leave open all the time.(Shopping sites for example)

    Since Opera for the longest time now simply remembers the tabs you leave open when you close it, I can jump straight into say Netvibes, forums and mail upon opening Opera without Speed Dial. But the option is there.

    This is the thing with Opera, the featureset has overlap, allowing customization to your individual requirements, you can do a number of similar things in uniquely different ways… and, even with a bunch of that functionality you may never use pre-installed it is still smaller and more efficent than Firefox with no extensions.

    Right click on any bar in Opera and you can fully edit the interface. Chuck buttons around, remove them and if you use the Opera Wiki, add entirely new ones. For example I have forum tabs refresh themselves within a specified time period in order to keep abreast of changing content without manually having to do so.

    Love it.

  • Speed Dial isn’t actually new in 9.5, and I simply use it for my nine most frequently visited bookmarks that I don’t just leave open all the time.(Shopping sites for example)

    Since Opera for the longest time now simply remembers the tabs you leave open when you close it, I can jump straight into say Netvibes, forums and mail upon opening Opera without Speed Dial. But the option is there.

    This is the thing with Opera, the featureset has overlap, allowing customization to your individual requirements, you can do a number of similar things in uniquely different ways… and, even with a bunch of that functionality you may never use pre-installed it is still smaller and more efficent than Firefox with no extensions.

    Right click on any bar in Opera and you can fully edit the interface. Chuck buttons around, remove them and if you use the Opera Wiki, add entirely new ones. For example I have forum tabs refresh themselves within a specified time period in order to keep abreast of changing content without manually having to do so.

    Love it.

  • Opera is great. I don’t even have Firefox installed any more and have never seen ‘extensions’ as the preference over a solid foundation.

    Where you say ‘features that even Mozilla haven’t thought of’ you really meant ‘features that Mozilla haven’t borrowed yet’, right?

    Mozilla Weave IS Opera Link, and I guarantee that Speed Dial will end up native in Firefox aswell; alongside Widgets, Torrents, Email, Sessions and Trash Tabs.

    Making custom searchs out of any field that you right click on is also worthy of assimilation. Very handy.

    • I personally wasn’t that interested in the Speed Dial option – well, not on a computer, non-mobile version. It just seems like a different interpretation of bookmark bar across the top of all browsers or have I missed something?

      I had demo of Firefox 3 the other day. One thing I quite liked was the smart location address bar which they’ve cheesily named the “awesome bar”. You only have to put in the odd bit of text from an address you’ve previously used and it goes back through a longer history to find the right one. It’s not bad. There’s a good add-ons manager too.

      I should imagine the security features are comparable and the performance speeds you’d have to test for yourself but, like I say, I’m going to have a look at Opera 9.5, Firefox 3 and maybe Flock as well before I decide.

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