Over the past year and a half, we’ve all seen how use of the web is changing, and how much more we’ve come to rely on our browsers. According to a study we conducted, 65 percent of people have been spending more time online during the last year and a half. Two thirds have also been spending more time online during their free time. Our newest major release addresses changing patterns in how we use the internet with a set of features that support your key online activities: from video conferencing through entertainment to sharing ideas with others and getting feedback on them.
To put it simply: We are providing smart ways to improve your online lives.
A better video call experience with new popout feature
Video calls are a new reality of life and the browser is now a key way people access video conferences online. Opera’s recent study found that 57 percent of people have used their browser to join video calls in recent months. The survey results show that they also like to multitask while video conferencing, which can cause some issues.
Those who spend many an hour on calls are all too familiar with video conferences hijacking their entire screen. And we also struggle with finding the tab with the meeting after looking something up in another tab or simply getting distracted.
We have fixed these problems with our brand-new video conferencing popout feature, which works with Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Video conferencing popout pops the video out of the tab and keeps it on top of other tabs. This happens automatically when you switch to another tab, and the video pops right back in when you return to the call’s original tab. The behavior can be adjusted in settings. This makes multitasking easier, so you can stop juggling tabs during calls. There’s also a clever option to make the floating window transparent, giving you both more screen and constant contact with the people on the call.
With the new R5 release, the tab with the active video call is also now marked with a red bar to make it easier to spot. And if you still get lost in a sea of open tabs and browser windows, you can simply use the CTRL+space keyboard shortcut and find it using a keyword. And if you forgot about a tab that was recording from your microphone? Opera will indicate that too.
New feature alert: Collect, organize and share ideas visually with Pinboards
The new Pinboards feature is exactly that: a virtual pinboard that lets you collect websites, images, links and notes in visual form and share them with others, regardless of the device they access it from.
Sharing a pinboard involves simply sharing a link, and those who it’s shared with can view everything the pinboard owner posts, as well as react with emojis.
Whether it’s a group trip to Mallorca, collection of gaming articles, home redecorating inspiration, shopping wishlist or anything else, we want you to be able to share it with other people and get their reactions – without the need to install new apps or go through the tedious process of creating accounts.
Pinboards look fantastic, no matter which browser or which device they are viewed with, and no signup is needed to use the feature. It’s free to use for all. To create a new pinboard, you just need to use Opera and update to the newest version.
More inclusive at streaming the music of your choice
Opera is known for its built-in features, like all the social messengers integrated into the browser. It also boasts native access to Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube music in the Player feature in the sidebar. And now, the feature is more inclusive with a wider range of music services including Deezer, Tidal, SoundCloud and Gaana.
The Player feature itself has also been improved with additional controls for music playback. Simply hover over the player icon in the sidebar for a mini control popup, and skip, play, pause, or drag the playback timeline, without having to open the feature’s panel.
A tab hoarder or neat freak – we don’t judge
A browser wouldn’t be a browser without the occasional storm of tabs. For the tab-hoarders out there, Opera has a useful Search in Tabs feature which lets them find a particular tab by typing keywords. Search in tabs is opened with the CTRL+space shortcut, and it searches through both tab titles and page content to find the tab you want.
If you’ve synced your browsers through your Opera account, Search in Tabs will also display tabs that are open on your other connected devices. And one more addition – if you’re having a video conference in one of your tabs, an indicator will show which tab it’s in.
Opera also indicates when there are duplicate tabs in the Search in Tabs feature, which means you won’t find yourself opening the same tab over and over again.
Opera has never looked better
Beyond pure functionality, R5 means that Opera has also improved its looks with a set of new wallpapers designed especially for this release. We’ve also made sure to align system settings with the dark and light themes.
Messengers for staying connected to friends while browsing
The built-in Messengers in Opera’s sidebar allow you to chat and browse at the same time, without having to switch apps or open tabs with a given messenger. Opera currently offers native access to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and VKontakte. You can also use Instagram and Twitter directly from the sidebar.
This is Opera 77 update and full changelog is here.