At Opera, we like to start each year with a Reborn release of our browser. The Reborn series allows us to keep challenging ourselves to do better. In Reborn 1, we introduced messengers in the sidebar, gave our browser more personality with dark and light themes, and implemented countless design updates. All of this was on top of our free, unlimited built-in browser VPN and ad blocker.
As part of the Reborn 2 premiere, we showcased My Flow, a new way of seamlessly connecting your browser to Opera Touch, our award-winning mobile browser. Reborn 3 was all about Web 3: Opera became the first browser to support Web 3 and include a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. It also included a faster VPN. All these releases and updates to our browser have put us way ahead of our competition when it comes to both features and reliability.
With today’s release we’ve modified the name to reflect the year of the release. R2020 will be a series of releases throughout the year with a focus on quality-of-life improvements. In the first release of the R2020 cycle we have improved one of the most used and important parts of the web browser – tabs.
Tab organization redefined
While tabs are a great concept, we also believe there is a lot of room for improvement. Many of us know the frustration associated with having a disorganized browser with simply too many tabs open. We might be neat freaks at home but we still often end up with numerous open tabs in various windows or even different browsers in an attempt to keep them organized.
According to a survey we conducted, 66 percent of people in the US use the same browser for work and personal browsing, and 65 percent reported that they would like to keep their browser better-organized. We also found out that almost 60 percent would like to group tabs according to the contexts they need them for, e.g. work, shopping, free time activities. Moreover, half of those surveyed stated that a messy browser has a negative impact on their mood.
Our release today provides a whole array of solutions that help you stay better organized while you browse.
Workspaces lets you organize tabs according to the different contexts you use them in
Workspaces is a new tool which lets you organize your tabs according to the different life contexts you use them for. Right now, you can add up to 5 workspaces, name them, and designate their icons. This allows you to keep tabs for work, free-time activity or any other projects in separate tab groups, called workspaces.
Workspace icons are quickly accessible at the top of the sidebar, with your active workspace icon highlighted in blue, allowing you to easily spot it. And if you’d like to open a link in a different workspace, simply right-click it and send it to the workspace of your choice. You can also move tabs between workspaces using the tab context menu.
And how do you find a website you opened once and which has gone missing in a sea of tabs? Simply use the Ctrl+space shortcut and type in a keyword. You will find it in no time!
See the tabs you’ve opened twice and remove duplicates
Opera has also added a nice little tool that highlights duplicated tabs. When you hover your mouse pointer over a tab, those with the same address are highlighted. This allows you to remove redundancy, both simplifying and speeding up your browsing.
The new visual tab-cycler
We frequently switch between many open tabs throughout a day of browsing. With Opera, this has just become significantly easier as we’ve updated the Tab-cycler to be horizontal and more visually accessible.
You can bring up the Tab-cycler with the Ctrl+Tab shortcut (on Windows, MacOS and Linux) and use it to switch between tab thumbnails without lifting your hands from your keyboard.
Easily adjust the sidebar to your needs
Another R2020 addition to the Opera browser is the Sidebar setup panel. Clicking the three-dot menu at the bottom of your sidebar opens up this well-organized panel with a comfortable and intuitive visual interface for managing elements in your sidebar.
The Sidebar setup panel lets you edit or remove any of the sidebar elements individually, like messengers or features like My Flow or Crypto Wallet. It’s also where you can customize Workspaces by adding, removing, editing or hiding them.
Other elements in the Sidebar setup panel include Opera Tools – browser management areas like History, Bookmarks and Extensions – which can be opened as full-page menus by hovering over their label and clicking the link icon.
Access useful extensions in the sidebar
The sidebar extensions that you add to your browser are now readily available and visible from the same sidebar. With this update, we’ve decided to make extensions as accessible and easy to use as your messengers, bookmarks, history and downloads. With one click, you can access Twitter, Instagram, Google Translate, or any extension you wish.
When you install a sidebar extension, its icon will now appear at the bottom of your sidebar. Choose which extensions are visible by right-clicking your sidebar, or by selecting them in the Sidebar setup panel. While there, click the add more button to visit the Opera add-ons store.
Improved security with DNS over HTTPS
When someone types a website address, like www.opera.com, the browser has to translate (resolve) it to an IP address, such as 22.214.171.124. This is done through a Domain Name System (DNS) resolver service, one of the oldest surviving parts of the Internet. By today’s standards, DNS is too trusting as the data exchanged between the browser and the DNS is not encrypted. DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a way to make it more robust by increasing user privacy and security. In simpler terms: it prevents eavesdropping and the manipulation of DNS data from man-in-the-middle attacks by using the HTTPS protocol to encrypt the data between the DoH client (Opera browser) and the DoH-based DNS resolver.
Opera now allows you to enable the DoH feature and to choose your DoH server of choice from a preselected list, or to customize it to any DoH server by using the browser’s settings.
Improved Video pop-out (picture in picture)
Following up on popular requests, we have also enhanced the Video pop-out feature in the browser. When you watch an online video, Video pop-out lets you separate the video into its own floating window which stays on top of other windows. This popped-out video is easily resized and controlled, so you can keep it playing in the corner, for example, while you browse.
This feature now allows even further control over the video with an added video timer, a back-to-tab button, as well as a next-track button.
What we did in 2019
Throughout the last year we launched seven major versions in which we continued to innovate by bringing a range of improvements to our browser. We made our free, unlimited, no-log browser VPN and our built-in ad blocker even easier to use. With the addition of our tracker blocker, these are very powerful tools for improving your privacy. We also introduced Opera GX, the world’s first gaming browser, which quickly won the Red Dot Design Award.
We are also happy to let you know that our browser’s user base grew more than 10 percent between 2018 and 2019.
We hope that Opera 67 and the continuing R2020 series of improvements will help you enjoy the web content that interests you at any given moment, allowing you to focus on the things that matter.
And here is the full changelog.