Macworld - Long-time readers know that I'm something of a browser fanatic. (There are presently 30 or so installed on my Mac). Perhaps my interest in anything related to Web browsers has its roots in the dark old days when (shudder) Internet Explorer was really the only Mac browser.
Now comes word that Opera has released Opera 10 Beta. I've had Opera on my machine for years, and would occasionally use it, mainly to make sure my sites were at least readable for someone using it. I was never really comfortable with the user interface, though; it just felt disjointed and not all that well put together.
After downloading the Opera 10 beta, I had a feeling things were going to be different as soon as I mounted the disk image--whereas Opera 9 features a disk image set against a bold, garish red background, Opera 10 Beta has an easy-on-the-eyes architecturally-influenced blue background.
The changes run much deeper than a disk image background, however. For Opera 10 Beta, Opera hired noted designer Jon Hicks to rework most of the interface. The result, even early in the beta cycle, is impressive. Opera no longer feels disjointed, and has a look that will be familiar to any Mac user. (There are actually two themes in the beta; the standard Opera theme and a Mac-specific theme, which is what's enabled by default for Mac users.)
The changes are immediately noticeable and quite welcome, even though they're relatively minor individually. The tab bar has been reworked, and it's now much easier to see the break between tabs. The active tab is highlighted with a nice gradient, instead of just a flat gray color scheme, and tabs are more clearly connected to their page content. Toolbar buttons have lost their garish colors, replaced with standard Mac-like gray-and-black buttons. Various boxes (URL entry, for instance) have also been reshaped to match the Mac standard.
Once you get beyond the pretty new skin, there are numerous low-level improvements. Pages load up to 40 percent faster than in Opera 9, and Opera 10 Beta scores a perfect 100 out of 100 on the Acid3 test (something that only Safari 4 Beta has done, as far as I know). SVG handling is also greatly improved, as is support for web fonts. I compared a few resource-intensive pages in both versions of Opera, and Opera 10 Beta was noticeably faster.
For those on slower connections, Opera 10 Beta now has something called Opera Turbo. According to the company, Opera Turbo "easily delivers 3x to 4x the speed of slower connections and can offer broadband-like speeds on dial-up." I don't have dial-up here at the house, so I can't test the claims. Enabling it on my broadband connection didn't have any appreciable impact, one way or the other.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- 4 Customers who never have to refresh their PCs again This paper illustrates a common theme: the combination of desktop virtualization and thin client computing helps organizations deliver an up-to-date user experience more...
- Mobile Devices: The New Thin Clients Get essential guidance for understanding the role thin clients plus virtual desktops play in the enterprise today.
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- PaaS - Powering a New Era of Business IT Why PaaS has suddenly become relevant and irresistible to many organizations. Dive into the opportunities and considerations associated with using PaaS from an...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts