Opera 11 Goes Beta, Has Cool New Features
Article by George Norman
On 23 Nov 2010
Norwegian Software developer Opera Software today announced the release of Opera 11 Beta. This Beta release adds some cool new features to the ones Opera 11 Alpha brought to the table. As you may already know, Opera 11 Alpha came with:

Extensions
– Extensions are great because they add features and functionality directly into the browser itself, rather than as standalone Opera Widgets or Opera Unite applications. Developers can easily create extensions using supported APIs and open standards like HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, while users can easily install extensions by clicking an extension and then clicking “Install” in the small window that shows up.

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The full extensions catalog is available at addons.labs.opera.com. As Opera Software explained, developers submit between 10 and 20 new extensions each day.

New installer
- the classic installer and the MSI installer have been discontinued. The new installer gives you the option to install the Opera browser on an external, portable device. If instead of clicking “Accept and install” you click the “Options” button you can select the “External device” option and install the browser on an, well, external device.

The recently released Opera 11 Beta comes with the following enhancements and new features:

Enhanced mouse gestures – Opera 11 Beta features a new visual interface that highlights mouse paths and helps guide the discovery, use and mastery of mouse gestures. If you are curious to see a full list of mouse gestures, these powerful shortcuts are presented in detail here.

Enhanced address field
– the address field hides unnecessary information and uses badges to highlight the security status of web pages. Parameters at the end of web addresses are visually hidden when the address field is not focused. All web pages get a badge to the left of the address field. The badge replaces protocols like HTTP, HTTPS and opera:, which are shown only when focusing on the address field.

Opera Turbo badge
– Opera 11 Beta displays a badge when Opera Turbo is turned on. Click the badge and you will have access to info such as estimated data savings for the Opera Turbo session.

Plugins
– users can now set plug-ins to load on-demand. According to Opera Software you can see a performance increase of up to 30% by doing so.

Auto-update
– extensions and Opera Unite applications will automatically update themselves.

Linux speed
– Opera Software said it worked hard on giving browsing speed a boost. This is especially obvious on Linux; on Linux Opera 11 Beta is 15% to 20% faster compared to Opera 10.63.

Lightweight
– even though Opera 11 Beta comes with new enhancements and new features, it is 30-% smaller than Opera 10.63.

New bookmarks bar
– Opera’s personal bar is now replaced by a new bookmarks bar.

New tab stacking feature
– you can stack tabs and group them by site or by theme. To stack tabs one on top of another you need only drag one top on top of another tab. Place the mouse over a tab and the stack will expand in a visual preview. Click the arrow icon and the tab stack will expand across the tab bar. A video that showcases tab stacks is available on YouTube here.

"Tabs are the most popular feature in browsers today,” said Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products, Opera. “Because so many of us wrestle with tens or even hundreds of open tabs, we needed a way to simplify tab management. Just like stacking papers for future reference, stacking your tabs is an intuitive way to organize and collect your open Web pages.”

If you would like to get Opera 11 Beta, you can grab it straight from Opera Software here.



Tags: Opera Software, Opera 11, Extensions, Tab stacking
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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