It’s October 16 again and that means it’s World Browser Day 2023! So let’s take a moment to look back at all the innovations and cool product updates that we’ve brought to you this past year.
Late 2022: TikTok in the sidebar of Opera and Opera GX, plus improved image and video quality with Lucid Mode (aka RGX)
The end of 2022 was about making our browser more fun! First, Opera and Opera GX added TikTok to the browser sidebar, making it easier than ever to watch your favorite content while not losing track of your main browsing activity.
And then, just in time for the holidays, we also introduced Lucid Mode to the flagship Opera browser and RGX to Opera GX. A video sharpening feature, Lucid Mode allows you to enjoy video content with crispness and clarity. It’s like having a crystal-clear window into your favorite shows and movies – no more pixelated faces or blurry images!
2023: Opera adds free VPN to Opera for iOS, becoming the first browser to bring coverage to all platforms
Security has always been a major concern for us at Opera, and so in April we extended our free VPN’s coverage to Opera for iOS – in the process becoming the first browser to offer a free, built-in VPN on all platforms. Our VPN service requires no subscription, no logging into an account, and no additional extensions – all you have to do is flip a switch in the main menu and then browse in peace. A no-log service, our VPN does not collect any personal data or information related to your browsing history or originating network address. Your anonymity is therefore ensured anonymity, and you can take advantage of fast and secure access to virtual locations around the world.
2023: Opera presents native browser AI
2023 has been all about generative AI so far – in the tech world writ large, and also for us here at Opera. First we kicked off a collaboration with OpenAI – the maker of ChatGPT – and then we developed our own AI engine. All of this was a prelude to a big redesign of our mobile and desktop browsers, which let you interact with artificial intelligence in meaningful new ways – specifically via Aria, our own native browser AI.
Unveiled in May, Aria was a big new step in Opera’s adoption of AI services. Based on our own “Composer” infrastructure, Aria connects to OpenAI’s GPT technology and is enhanced by additional capabilities – such as live results from the web. Aria brings you access to a leading generative AI service free of charge. A web and a browser expert, Aria lets you collaborate with AI while looking for information on the web, generating text or code, or getting your product queries answered. A customer support whiz, Aria is knowledgeable about Opera’s entire database of support documentation and can use the company’s current product knowledge to answer your questions.
In the future Aria can be expanded to connect to multiple AI models and integrate further capacities – such as search and AI services powered by Opera’s key partners. Central to our goals going forward, Aria and AI services are a big sign of what’s to come.
A browser redesigned: presenting Opera One
This past spring we took our AI strategy a step further by redesigning our flagship desktop browser to become AI-ready with Opera One, which natively integrates Aria. This wasn’t just a facelift: it was a bold declaration that AI isn’t merely an addition, but a fundamental component of the browsing experience. With Opera One, you can seamlessly interact with AI through a brand-new command line, as well as through the browser sidebar and directly from websites with AI Prompts. Opera One also showcases a whole new way of working with tabs: Tab Islands.
Tab Islands are an innovative feature that addresses the challenge of managing multiple tabs. They automatically group related tabs together based on context, so you have greater flexibility in tab management. Expandable or collapsible, your various Tab Islands grant you unrivaled organizational capabilities. So whether you’re planning a trip itinerary or working on multiple Google Docs, Tab Islands helps you stay on top of things.
Aria on the go
Aria has proven to be a big hit with Opera users already, surpassing over one million users within two months of its launch. So we were keen to bring our browser AI to all of our major platforms – first to Android in June, and then to iOS in August.
On mobile, you can initiate chats with Aria via a small chat bubble. It’ll stay open when you open new tabs, making it easy for you to jump around and compare information without having to look for the AI feature tab in a browser – or opening a new app. So now you can harness all the power of AI while on the go, right from your pocket!
Chess.com Collaboration and a dedicated chess browser
In September, we partnered with Chess.com to put chess right into the browser. With custom builds for both desktop and mobile products, chess enthusiasts can now enjoy their favorite game wherever they are! In Opera’s desktop browser, a Chess.com icon now resides in the sidebar – so you can solve puzzles and battle your rivals while you browse the web. Opera for Android also got a chess-themed makeover, complete with chess-related articles, videos, and informational content.
Opera GX: Bringing Aria to Gamers
A few years ago we ventured into the gaming world with Opera GX: a browser tailored for gamers which now has more than 25 million monthly active users. The integration of Aria into Opera GX opened up a new realm of possibilities for gamers: the AI can write you personalized character bios or serve up the latest seasonal updates of your favorite games. All of the gaming news, tips, and tricks are integrated right into the sidebar or accessible with the use of cmd + /.
In October we introduced some exciting new features to Aria to help you get the most out of our browser AI. First we focused on helping you get the most accurate responses to your queries. The “Reuse” feature, for example, allows you to create tailored responses by selecting elements from prior answers. Meanwhile the “Rephrase” feature lets you reshape specific elements of Aria’s output. Additionally, the “Highlighter” feature simplifies revisiting and referencing specific parts of Aria’s responses.
We also looked at how Aria can help boost your creativity. The new “Compose” mode makes it easy to create content for various purposes – such as blogs, social media posts, or work emails – and “My Style” even lets you train the AI to write just like you!
Looking Forward to More Innovations
At Opera, we’re not stopping here. Our commitment to browser innovation continues and we can promise you one thing: that we will keep working on meaningful ways to make your browsing smarter, faster, and more personal. Thanks for coming along with us for the ride – we’ll be back with more game-changing innovations soon!