Opera 11 Goes Through 3 RCs in Two Days, Out as a Final Version the Third Day
Article by George Norman
On 16 Dec 2010
Back in September we were reporting that Opera 11 Alpha was released to the public. Then in November we were reporting that Opera 11 Beta was released to the public. It is the middle of December now and we have to report that Opera 11 went through the RC (Release Candidate) and Final milestones in the span of three days.

On the 14th of December the Opera Desktop Team announced the release of Opera 11 RC1 (Release Candidate 2). The following day, on the 15th of December, the team announced the release of Opera 11 RC2 and Opera 11 RC3. Today, the 16h of December, Norwegian developer Opera Software announced the release of Opera 11 Final.

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“Opera Software debuted the newest version of its award-winning browser today,” announced the Norwegian software developer in a press release. “Opera 11 combines elegant design, smart updates to some of our most popular features and new ways to customize Opera to your preferences. Download it today for Windows, Mac and Linux computers from http://www.opera.com/.”

The final version of Opera 11 comes with the new features we’ve known about ever since the software was in Beta, mainly the following bits and pieces:

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.

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 tab 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.

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

Safer 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.

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.

Speed and lightweight – Opera 11 is some 30% smaller than Opera 10.63 and faster than Opera 10.63, especially on Linux. Opera 11 is some 15-20% faster on Linux.

“We have always worked hard to introduce new and bold ideas in web browsing,” said Opera Co-founder Jon von Tetzchner. “But, sometimes we want to take an idea and improve upon it. Opera 11 adds a layer of polish to features people have known and loved for more than a decade, while introducing extensions. If you have never tried Opera before, Opera 11 will change everything you know about browsing.”



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