The first thing that strikes you about Opera 11 is that how colourful it is. Now, I have nothing against colors – being twenty-three and female, I love them, but it rather makes the web browser look like a child’s picture book – case in point: the Menu tab has a background color that can only be described as blazing red (or scarlet, if you are too finicky).
However, one does realize that the purpose of this is to make the browser more visually appealing, and it does succeed to some extent in that regard (depending on your taste). After upgrading (from an Opera 9.6), an Opera web page displays its latest features, and urges the users to “try these popular features” – which includes Tab Stacking, Visual Mouse gestures, Search Suggestions, among others.
Opera Tab Stacking feature
Opera’s new Tab stacking feature has been much talked about in the technological circles and it is just as useful as it is being touted. This feature allows Opera users to drag a tab and place it over another, creating a collection of tabs in the process, for an “organized” browsing. On holding the cursor over the collective group, snapshot of the individual pages appear, so that the user can keep a track of the stack’s contents.
However, I found the Visual mouse gesture feature totally cumbersome, initially, but after a few attempts when I finally got the hang of it, it proved to be quite a valuable tool. Armed with this tool, you can seamlessly (and very quickly), move back and forth among the pages in your browsing history, open new tabs and even stop a page from loading – all this with the help of four arrows (in the visual guide) and the right mouse button.
Address Bar search
Another welcome change is that, now, instead of following a circuitous route for Searching (going to the Google home page, typing one’s query and then getting the results page), one can now directly type the query in the address bar, and Opera will open the Google Search Engine Results page (à la Google’s Chrome). To avail the Search Suggestion feature, you just need to type your query in the Address bar, with a “g” keyword in front of your query, for example, if you type “g recent scams” in your address bar, then Google suggests “recent scams and rip offs”, “recent scams in India”, “recent scams in India 2010” and so on and so forth.
Opera Turbo feature
For those of you stuck with slow networks, cheer up! Opera’s Turbo feature, first introduced in Opera 10, is retained. It uses data compression technology to decrease the time taken for a page to download.
Even though Opera doesn’t enjoy a huge fan base like Firefox, nor does it have the advantage of coming pre-installed in Windows system(like IE), but people here, are slowly waking up to the idea that the world of Web browsing doesn’t necessarily start and end with IE or even Firefox, and bearing in mind all these innovative features that Opera has to offer (and also being somewhat of an Opera loyalist [I have been using it for close to three years now]), one can say that our beloved red “O” is here to stay.