With the browser war at full swing, Opera is determined to claim its fair share. The Norwegian browser firm has just released Opera 10.60, which, you guessed it correctly, introduces further speed improvements, along with a host of other stuff.
Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer at Opera Software claims that “Opera 10.60 beta is so fast, it will blow you away”, and he is right. The new build provides more than a 50% speed improvement in some benchmarks and outperforms the latest builds of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer by a fair margin.
But, speed is not all that Opera is showcasing. The new beta sports a further refined interface and most of the rough edges present in the Opera 10.50 redesign have been ironed out. Speed dials are better adapted for widescreen monitors, internal tabs (such as Feed Reader, Mail, Chat and History) have their own thumbnail icons, thumbnail tab previews look cleaner and the Menu button looks a lot less clunky.
New technologies supported by Opera 10.6 include:
WebM video: WebM is Google’s new video codec, which is being proposed as an open and non-proprietary alternative to H.264 for web videos.
Geolocation: It is a standard API, which can be leveraged by web applications to guess a user’s location, without having to rely on GPS devices.
AppCache: ApplicationCache or AppCache is a HTML5 standard, which enables execution of web applications offline. In some ways it’s a standards based alternative to Google Gears.
Improved Search: Opera has also introduced search suggestion for Wikipedia and Bing is now the default Speed Dial search engine.
As indicated by the version number, Opera 10.60 isn’t a vast improvement over its predecessor, but it features plenty of nice little changes, which make it a worthwhile upgrade. Although, I strongly believe that Opera needs an API to become a complete browser, it’s still a worthy option on its own. Opera boasts of an impressive array of features including Turbo, Unite, Link, Mail, Feeds and Widgets, packaged in an intuitive and appealing interface. Opera 10.60 is available for Windows, UNIX and Mac.