Opera: The Awesome Browser That Nobody Uses

You can ask just about anybody what browser they’re using, and they will very likely respond with Safari, Firefox or Chrome. I have never met anyone who actually uses Opera for everyday browsing. This is not surprising seeing as how its usage share is 2.4%. And yet, nearly everybody has heard of it. So why do so few people use it?

Today, I’ll be taking a look at Opera, what it has to offer, and whether or not you should consider adopting it as your new favourite browser.

Getting Started

Installation of Opera is nice and easy – Download the DMG (for free), drag the app into Applications, and away you go. Alternatively, installation through the Mac App Store is even easier.

Upon first opening Opera, you will not be greeted by a wizard to import your bookmarks from another browser. This is unfortunate, because it is a feature which I feel really helps smooth over the transition between browsers. Still, this import is possible, by going to File > Import and Export, and then locating your exported bookmarks file on your computer.

Installing Opera

Installing Opera

Interface

I was really impressed by Opera’s interface. On any review of a Mac app’s interface, the reviewer will comment on how “native” the app looks and feels. Opera gets top marks for this one. It totally feels like it was designed to work on a Mac and incorporates numerous design elements that are used across OS X.

The Opera folks have decided to go with the tabs on top, something we’re seeing more and more with browsers. Following another popular browser trend, Opera’s toolbar is minuscule but never for a minute feels cluttered or under-equipped. When your app is in a competitive field (and there’s no field more competitive than browsers), your interface is absolutely crucial. Opera has hit the nail on the head with this one.

Opera's Interface

Opera's Interface

Browsing

For a browser, the browsing experience is crucial. Luckily, you’re in safe hands with Opera. I’m a Firefox man, and for the purpose of this review, I used Opera for a few days. When I’m in Chrome or Safari, I am fully aware that I’m in Chrome or Safari, and I know the limitations. While using Opera, the content took over, and I totally forgot about what browser I was in. It just felt natural.

One gripe I do have is the lack of middle button scrolling. In Firefox, I can click the middle button (or scroll wheel), and get a nice scroll feature which scrolls by moving the mouse up or down. This means much less scrolling. While this may seem silly and nit-picky, when I consider the the amount of time I spend on the Internet, I would say this has probably saved me from some repetitive strain injury. To be fair, neither Safari nor Chrome seem to have that feature either, but it’s a total dealbreaker for me, and one of the main reasons I use Firefox.

Another of my favorite features in Firefox is the ability to quickly go to sites with your address bar. If I want to find out more about the last Harry Potter film, I just type “harry potter part 2” in the Firefox address bar, and I am instantly brought to the IMDb page for the movie. In Opera, Safari, and Chrome, I am brought to a Google search for that term. Sure, this only means one more click on my part, but it’s important for me.

The Address Bar in Opera

The Address Bar in Opera

With the release of Safari in Lion, every major browser displays your downloads differently. Safari has a pop-up, Chrome does it in a new tab, and Firefox opens a new window. So how does Opera manage your downloads? Well, by default, it will open a new tab, similar to Chrome. However, they also have a lovely sidebar view which gives you all the information you need, no matter what tab you’re in. For me, this is a great way to view your downloads’ progress, and from there, you can also access your bookmarks, history, and much more.

Downloads in the Sidebar

Downloads in the Sidebar

Another great feature of Opera is the ability to stack tabs. If you have a large amount of tabs open that you want to access at some point, but have no use for at the given moment; or if you just want to organize your tab in clusters, you can stack tabs easily by simply dragging one tab on another. Opera is famous for introducing features before any other browser (in fact, they were the first to have tabs.). In my opinion, tab stacking is an awesome feature that other browsers should definitely incorporate.

Tab Stacking

Tab Stacking

Web Standards

I’m no web developer. I don’t know all of the the nuances of HTML and I don’t know what makes CSS so amazing. But I do know a broken layout when I see it, and I haven’t seen one yet. Opera claims to have support for both HTML5 and CSS3, but so does every other modern browser. The degree of support is what’s most important and Opera does seem to score fairly high in this area. Development gurus can find out more here, normal users should just know that Opera handles most modern websites perfectly.

One thing worth noting is that Opera is not a Webkit browser, so you can’t get any of those fancy CSS animations we all love in Safari and Chrome. If that’s something you rely on, then maybe give Opera a miss, but for the rest of us, almost everything looks just as it should.

Extensions

Extensions are a crucial part of the web experience, and with good reason: users love to have a browser that is custom-built to work with the way they use the web. Opera has plenty of lovely extensions, all serving a purpose. It doesn’t, of course, have anything on the ridiculous number of extensions Firefox has (Opera has less than 800 at the time of this writing). One awesome benefit of Opera’s extensions is the ability to install without a relaunch of the app – just hit install and you’re good to go!

Opera Extensions

Opera Extensions

Why Isn’t Opera popular?

On paper, Opera should have a massive market share – It’s updated regularly, fast, secure, customizable, introduces lots of new features first, and looks great. It’s also an absolute pleasure to use. So why does it only have a market share of 2.4%? To me, it looks like a matter of branding. Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome are products from Microsoft, Apple and Google respectively, and Firefox has built up a great reputation over a long time. Opera, however, does not have a massive corporation behind it, nor does it have Firefox’s levels of marketing. No matter what the reason really is, you shouldn’t let Opera’s low market share discourage you from giving it a shot.

Browser Share (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Browser Share (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Conclusion

Opera feels like the browser Apple should have made – It’s beautiful, innovative, and it “just works”. I’m sticking with Firefox myself, but were Mozilla to suddenly disappear from the face of this earth, I would switch to Opera without a second’s doubt.

I’ve only really touched on the most important aspects of Opera, it’s so feature-rich that I could have written a book about it. To really experience it, you have to use it yourself. You may not switch straight away, but you definitely won’t be disappointed.


Summary

A web browser from Opera Software with over 200 million users worldwide!

8
  • http://www.caiobianchi.com Caio

    I’ve been hearing people whining of how great Opera is… and It’s a browser for fastidious etc… FOR YEARS!!! however it seems no matter how featured Opera is, it’ll never nail the likes of the masses. That’s due to, using your words, “the lack of a massive corp behind it”.
    It’s more of a branding issue than a quality issue.

    • http://www.webmaster-source.com redwall_hp

      That’s the sad reality of software development, and business as a whole. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if it’s not marketed to death by a large company it’s chances at widespread adoption are slim. That’s not to say you can’t find a niche and make good money, but getting the masses to use it is another matter.

  • Eleanor

    I use it! And a large number of my colleagues use it!
    Been using it for years… wouldn’t use another browser. We are out there y’know… :(

  • Lucas Rolff

    I both use Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera – Mostly Chrome, because I love the design..

    When I was running windows, I was always using Firefox because it was pretty fast and rendering websites good, then it started to be slow in startups, until about Firefox 4.0 – After that I haven’t really used it.. I’m afraid of it will start getting slow again..

    Opera is a great browser, as developer I don’t see much problems with Opera – I’ve seen some, etc. that the background color doesn’t work on body in some cases.. But it’s ultra fast and I find it like snappy..

    • Dan Palmer

      Seeing as background colour was one of the first things web pages could do, you would have thought a modern browser would support it well.

      I have seen countless rendering issues with Opera and no web developers I know use it for anything except testing to make sure their stuff works in Opera.

      The Internet Explorer of the Mac.

  • Dan Palmer

    Non-standard system user interface components.
    Poor usability.
    Terrible web page rendering with bad standards support. The support may be there technically, but in actual use, its awful.

    2/10

    • Althalos

      Take a look at this page here: http://www.quirksmode.org/css/contents.html . I haven’t tried Opera yet, but just take a look at it: in its last version it looks a lot more like Chrome than IE, don’t you think? It does not appear to have been as fast as webkit to adopt certain CSS3 features, such as of-nth-type or columns but those features can hardly be used yet anyway because of backwards support for IE7 etc.

      • Althalos

        I guess I was kind of admitting it had similarities to IE there, but my point was that for normal web development it’s not going to hold you back… its implemented all the features that one would expect.

    • José Monte

      Sorry Dan Palmer, you’re totally wrong and unffair.

      You´re not talking about the Opera Browser, but IE i guess.

      Opera is simply the most inovative browser of all time;
      they invented the Tabs, CSS, UserCSS, Sessions, page Zooming, Mouse gestures, Pop-up Blocking, Speeddial, see the complete list; http://operawiki.info/operainnovations

  • Althalos

    None of the lacking features you mentioned are dealbreakers for me. The debugging environment, since I do a lot of web development, is crucial though. And after some research I can declare to anyone else wondering that Opera has built in a “Opera Dragonfly” which in its own words “a full suite of tools” and seem capable of handling just about anything you’d wish for, just like Firebug. I’m definitely trying out Opera :)

  • Anton

    There is a reason actually on why Opera isn’t popular among Mac users: it seems to be only recent version of Opera for Mac is that good as described in the review. Previous versions were total nightmare: absolutely not Mac style, unreliable, etc. And that was the case for a long time. So i’m not surprised at all of the current state of things: even if Opera is one of the best browsers out there at the moment.

  • mongaloid

    Opera’s an awesome browser on all platforms BESIDES the Mac! The reason is it’s atrocious scrolling (see http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=1044002).

    I use Opera on linux because it’s incredibly smooth. You can load several tabs in the background and still scroll smoothly on a given page. Try that with Chrome or Safari (or I imagine any other webkit browser). It doesn’t work (and I’m running a Core i7 Sandybridge)! Firefox is a bit better but still nowhere near Opera in this respect.

    • Matt

      This.

    • Sam

      Yes, I’d agree with the awful scrolling. A shame because I like the rest of it for the most part.

      I generally use Opera when Chrome conks out on me – Firefox is pretty much unusable on my mac these days (yet works perfectly fine on my XP computer at work!!)

  • http://hito.fr Hito

    Another thing to point at is that Opera is also fast.
    It consume less when you are watching videos on youtube.
    I’ve experienced it with my macbook pro. Watching youtube video on Chrome or firefox make my macbook pro crazy while watching it on Opera is normal.
    Still for web development i’m using firefox and chrome.

  • http://adamawilliams.com Adam Williams

    Opera is great for my old iBook Clamshell, both because of its great speed and Opera’s ‘fit to view’ option enabling web pages to actually fit the screen.

  • nick

    been using it for for years…. love it!

  • http://sallar.ir Sallar Kaboli

    FOSC, ever-standing problem with Opera.

  • Laurent Rathle

    I’ve tried it, but stopped because no possibility to use 1password.

    • http://scottlee.me Scott Lee

      Here here. I’d love to use Opera as my primary. I find it runs great on Mac, even better than Firefox. When I asked Agilebits (formally Agile) about it they said they’re focusing on Chrome. Lame.

      • Newto

        1password is nice, but Opera can saves passwords you know? and store in Opera Link!
        https://link.opera.com/

        Been using Opera since the 7th version, can’t live without them.

      • NakkiNyan

        Scott:
        Of course they are focusing on Chrome, it has more users.

        Newto:
        OK Opera saves passwords, so does every other browser. I fail to see how this is a fix for anything considering I use 1Password on 2 Macs and an iPhone syncing the encrypted file with the passwords over dropbox. I don’t trust other groups to store my bank logins, credit card logins, etc…

  • el1x

    Any new features you seen on the big three browsers was generally already implemented in opera beforehand.
    I’ve been using it for years and for me the only thing Safari has over Opera is a 1Password extension.

  • BizarreRod

    I use Chrome (because it’s blazing fast and doesn’t consume a lot of memory) and Safari (it’s a delight to use and, let’s face it, it’s pure eye-candy), but every once in a while (about every release) I download and install Opera to see how amazing it is. And every once in a while I uninstall it because I find it the most horrible major browser to use (apart from IE). It’s heavy, it has an enormous, distracting interface withs loads of things nobody cares about, and then, when you use it, you find that it isn’t as fast as, for example, Chrome, which also is way lighter and less feature bloated.

  • Pieter V

    Non-native, just like Firefox. No matter how much you say it’s not noticeable, it’s noticeable.
    Scrolling is atrocious, doesn’t have per-pixel scrolling like every other browser on the mac, I already made bug tickets and forum posts on their website about it. Their replies come down to “We don’t care, just use our browser already, it’s good.”.
    Well, I’m not going to. Scrolling is a MAJOR part of the web browsing experience.
    And to me, personally, using native applications that are completely consistent where you expect them to be is a MAJOR part of using a mac.
    There’s enough good browsers to choose from and I made my choice, it’s not Opera.

  • twirp

    Opera use to cost money, so I already embraced another browser. The last time I used it, it wasn’t feature rich, and didn’t render CSS properly. Things may have changed, but the interface doesn’t match up with the system it’s running on, and it feels clunky.

  • http://www.deerme.net/ Sheryl

    I find this review surprising, because I keep trying to give Opera a chance — and did so again just two days ago — and always find myself disappointed by it and bewildered by people who swear by this browser… and yes, I do know a few.

    I find its interface clunky and getting in my way of trying to browse the web and the browser seems incredibly slow to me compared to Safari, FireFox, and Chrome. Maybe, if I actually timed it, it is faster, but it feels incredibly slow and unresponsive.

    I guess that is the great thing about there being different browsers from which to choose, because not all users are the same. I find Opera an awkward, clumsy beast that is a pain to use and someone else finds it a comfortable and elegant tool.

  • http://www.ideaprison.com Oscar

    Opera sucks at following web standards and displays CSS3 horribly not to mention the speed with something is animated..

  • JB

    Can’t agree. I’m trying out every version of Opera being released, but find it anyways years behind everything else – especially in the matter of interface and usability. Opera devs can claim that they’ve invented every feature in the world – let it be so – but they certainly failed to make almost everything good enough. All those shiny cutting-edge stuff they’ve been adding from version to version makes no sense as long as the browser has terrible problems with basics, like terrible bookmarks management, hyperoverloaded interface and poor rendering. Opera has cool developer bar, perfect mouse gestures and some funky little nicies as well. But it’s not a browser for every day usage, just a collection of features. Oh yeah – and it’s pretty unstable on mac.

    • Scott

      Absolutely agree about the “unstable on mac” comment. I really wanted to like Opera on my Mac. I used it for months. I got sick of it crashing about once a week or so, and uninstalled it once I lost about one-and-a-half hours work posting to a web forum after yet another crash. Just don’t use it on the Mac, it’s just a waste of disk space due to stability issues.

      • Scott

        Sorry one more thing…if you’re thinking of using Opera on a Mac, go to the Opera forums first, navigate to the Opera on Mac forum, and either search on “crash”, or just scan the topic subject lines. About every 4th post will be about how Opera doesn’t work on a Mac.

  • Zack
  • http://www.pobox.com/~meta/ mathew

    Add me to the list of people who keep trying Opera and then deleting it. It always comes down to the user interface.

    I just tried it again on Linux, here are a few of the UI issues I spotted in seconds:
    – Non-standard (ugly bold) fonts for the tabs and menus.
    – Wrong background color for controls (pinkish rather than gray).
    – Opens up to a ridiculous window width by default.
    – Appearance menu doesn’t let you change the appearance of the browser, only how web pages are displayed; to change the browser appearance you have to go into Preferences > Advanced.
    – Even then, there’s no way to get the whole UI to use the right fonts, I have to individually set the menu font, the dialog font, the toolbar font, etc.

    And then there’s the feature bloat and the ridiculous number of customizable options. I’d rather just use Chrome, which works pretty much how I want by default.

  • Eric Durbrow

    I don’t use Opera because I still find it slower than other browsers in everyday use and in benchmark tests. More importantly, I cannot clip website urls to Circus Ponies Notebook or Scrivener very easily. Last, I believe there is no 1Password extension (can someone confirm this?)

  • Elliot

    Can I sync my bookmarks with ease on multiple devices/platforms? With Safari on the Mac I use MobileMe and it’s all pushed to my iPhone. Can the same be said of Opera?

    • labucque

      Actually Opera Link is a great feature that lets you synchronise every Opera bookmark, history, password,… between all your devices. All you ave to do is to configure it. Easy and priceless !
      One of the unique features Opera offers and people don’t know about.
      Opera is weak on some CSS points but it’s still the fastest browser on my MacPro, the easiest way to browse the Internet (mouse gestures) and the one I can’t live without. Last but not least, the last version almost fits the OsX appearance, no more bling-bling stuff…

  • http://mothership.co.nz Mothership

    “So why do so few people use it?”

    “I’m sticking with Firefox myself…”

    Asked. And answered.

    • http://dribble.com/conor Conor O’Driscoll

      Haha, a good point well made! :D

      That said, had I reviewed Safari or Chrome, I would have stuck with Firefox, and yet those two are pretty popular. Web-kit aside, Opera beats Safari and Chrome hands-down (in my opinion at least)

  • Tim

    I would love to use Opera. I find it very nice and fast with plenty of features. However, I cannot because some sites will not support it…like my financial institutions. Every other browser works fine. Poor Opera.

  • NikAnderson

    Opera was great up till v6 if I remember correctly then they stopped innovating and started bolting stuff together that no one needs or uses. In short here’s whats missing IMO from opera.

    Speed Dial that “lives” in bookmarks and is synced with them.
    Good Adblocking (might have changed recently).
    One click browser cleaning button.
    Flashblocking so that you can choose WHEN something is played or downloaded.
    And now for the big one – BETTER TAB MANAGEMENT .
    You have all these tabs and no features to control them such as:
    Tabcounter
    Tablocking/protecting so that when you say close tabs on the right few of them can remain open/protected
    Tab sorting (by domain,etc.)
    “Splitscreen” Tab view so when you’re in max window mode you can have two tabs side by side.
    Duplicate tab, Open in duplicate, Close left/other
    Single window mode with prevent last tab from closing.
    Simple cookie allow/disallow (session or permanent) management
    Better Popup blocker with lists etc…
    Tracking prevention.
    Streamlined UI
    And none of these options should be third-party!

    So, when they started going nuts with adding mail and bunch of other stuff to it I switched to Firefox, because this, now isn’t a browser anymore. I guess all of us want a simple, yet powerful web browser that doesn’t eat all of your ram the second you start it and can handle 20+ tabs with ease.

    Until they change Opera and make it just a browser that works and is concentrated on browsing instead of Unity that no one is using, I’ll be sticking with Firefox then Chrome then Safari and if, IF all that fails maybe I’ll start using Opera, since all of the previously mentioned browsers handle the above quite well some better than the others via various 3rd party plugins.

    • Sumpfkrautjunkie

      >>Good Adblocking (might have changed recently).
      You have just do download an blocklist like
      http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/
      and it blocks everything (if updated from time to time)
      Or just install an Adblock-Extension…
      >>One click browser cleaning button.
      Don’t know, what you mean, but you can automatically delete cookies on closing or just use private tabs.
      >>Flashblocking so that you can choose WHEN something is played or downloaded.
      There is an option in the menu for this.
      >>Tablocking/protecting so that when you say close tabs on the right few of them can remain open/protected
      You can “pin” and “unpin” tabs, to protect them from closing.
      >>Tab sorting (by domain,etc.)
      You can sort alphabetically and even SEARCH tabs in the window panel.
      >>“Splitscreen” Tab view so when you’re in max window mode you can have two tabs side by side.
      You can have even every tab side by side (if activiating tilt-mode)
      >>Duplicate tab, Open in duplicate, Close left/other
      Duplication is possible (context-Menu or shortcut, custom button etc)
      >>Single window mode with prevent last tab from closing.
      is implemented by default.
      >>Simple cookie allow/disallow (session or permanent) management
      Possible (by global setting or individual setting for each page or by using private tabs)
      >>Tracking prevention.
      works by the content-blocker (the usual implementiation to set an “dont track me’-cookie is obviously not very reliable)
      >>Streamlined UI
      You can customize the IU completely (almost) as you wish (more than Chrome or Firefox). Reposition, delete or even create custom buttons, arrange bars, create an own style etc

      >>
      And none of these options should be third-party!
      Nothing is third party, but already impemented ;)

      >>I guess all of us want a simple, yet powerful web browser that doesn’t eat all of your ram the second you start it and can handle 20+ tabs with ease.
      No! I don’t want a ‘simple’ clicki-baby browser. I want a comfortable tool wich allows me to customize it to my needs (and sense of beauty)
      And about tab-handling:
      http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://browserbenchmark.wordpress.com/benchmarktabelle/&ei=1945Tof8GoXIsgbtl8Qo&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://browserbenchmark.wordpress.com/benchmarktabelle/%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dopera%26hs%3D8UR%26rls%3Dde%26prmd%3Divns

      For 20 open Tabs Chrome 13 needs 465.8 MB, Firefox and Safari about 398.4 MB and Opera just 284.2 MB ;)
      well…
      Either you are just trolling or you have no idea about opera… :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/otwen Newto

        I would answer this guy, after laughing a lot with these questions that are already answered a long time with versions of Opera.
        But you did that for me.
        And I repeat everything you said about Opera, I do not want something simple … I want advanced options that make my day-by-day organized. The funny thing is Firefox and Chrome browsers are simple and takes up more memory than Opera that has more functions natively.

      • Nik

        >One click browser cleaning button.
        >>Don’t know, what you mean, but you can automatically delete cookies on closing or just use private tabs.
        Right now it’s a three step process, go to menu click menubar, click clear browser data click clear. One click is a lot faster.

        >Flashblocking so that you can choose WHEN something is played or downloaded.
        >>There is an option in the menu for this.
        That dosen’t work as expected…

        >Tablocking/protecting so that when you say close tabs on the right few of them can remain open/protected
        >>You can “pin” and “unpin” tabs, to protect them from closing.
        Again in firefox you can just double click a tab to lock it, then right click some tab before it and click close right tabs. You keep the tab order, all the tabs you wanted to save are saved and you go on about your business. In Opera you CANT keep the order of tabs and you CANT close right or left tabs just all other which is ridiculous… (Not trying to start a war here, these are just the facts.)

        >Tab sorting (by domain,etc.)
        >>You can sort alphabetically and even SEARCH tabs in the window panel.
        Yes you can, and you HAVE TO open a side bar to do it. Again why not do it from the tab bar right click menu? Why reach for something on the side… This is exactly the “streamlined ui” experience that I’m talking about.

        >“Splitscreen” Tab view so when you’re in max window mode you can have two tabs side by side.
        >>You can have even every tab side by side (if activiating tilt-mode)
        Tilt-mode? I’ve looked high and low for it and could not find it. Again shortcomings of the UI. Best i could manage is to shove a page in a sidebar and have a “split-screen”

        >>Duplicate tab, Open in duplicate, Close left/other
        Duplication is possible (context-Menu or shortcut, custom button etc)
        Ok duplicate is available, but what about close left/right?

        >Single window mode with prevent last tab from closing.
        >>is implemented by default.
        I forgot about it, my bad.

        >Simple cookie allow/disallow (session or permanent) management
        >>Possible (by global setting or individual setting for each page or by using private tabs)
        Buried in the interface and not very user friendly… lots and lots of clicks. I don’t want to work on my browser or for my browser! It works for me.

        >>Tracking prevention.
        works by the content-blocker (the usual implementiation to set an “dont track me’-cookie is obviously not very reliable)

        >>Streamlined UI
        You can customize the IU completely (almost) as you wish (more than Chrome or Firefox). Reposition, delete or even create custom buttons, arrange bars, create an own style etc
        This ALMOST is the key here. You can essentially customize very little. Yes it has this and that button but it’s not there yet. Yes the interface is much prettier that anything else, but it’s just a pain to customize it and if you try it falls apart. What I mean is if you move sidebar to the right it doesn’t fit graphically. Now this is something that you may or may not understand… Also a lot of power can come from having a streamlined ‘simple’ clicki-baby interface as you call it. Having the right options at the right place can mean the world of difference in terms of usability. In other words putting a blinker light switch inside a glove compartment, so every time you want to take a turn you have to open the glove compartment, look away from the road, flip the switch, crash and die. It just doesn’t work :D Now having it at the steering wheel… Also Opera has lots and lots of options but essentially you need a hand full of them and most of them arent exposed the right way.

        >And none of these options should be third-party!
        >>Nothing is third party, but already impemented ;)
        It’s Implemented, but very poorly and not all of it!

        Anyway this argument is getting out of hand. Bottom line I used to love Opera till Firefox 3 came out, then I switched and never looked back, and from what I can see (just tested 11.50) not much has changed. I’m not a person that has 1-2 tabs open, I have min 20 tabs open at any given time, so I need a “power” browser that can meet my demands in terms of usability and flexibility, which is Firefox, sure it has it’s shortcomings but Opera just doesn’t cut it for me and that’s my opinion. So this will be the end of this discussion.

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  • http://lirik.bambytop.com bambytop

    Hmm, setelah membaca review ini, saya jadi ingin mencoba opera kembali. Mungkin kali ini akan lebih menyenangkan berselancar di internet menggunakan opera.

  • Lorianzokano

    Dragonfly debugger in Opera is worst (in my opinion) I ever seen.

    Most busy UI. While Chrome, Safari and now even Firefox trying to do default layout look as much to F11 as they can, Opera doing it in they’re own direction.

    Too many unneeded built in functionality, why I would like to have torrent client or even file sharing to be built in (again in my opinion)?

    While speed of rendering is best than all other browser this is only one plus in that it have.

    In my company we don’t debug/test for Opera and I am glad that its not popular, otherwise it will be one more headache because Opera have different rendering engine that also is not that good as in others.

    • D-55

      Really? I love Opera dragonfly. I don’t even do that much web development but I still love it.

  • Kakimuro

    I read all comment above and lets face it… Opera suck really hard.

  • DJR

    Opera is a fail for me on OS X Lion, I clean installed OS and install this Opera. It just lags.

  • http://renestalder.me René

    Your conclusion is really bad. “I’ve only really touched on the most important aspects of Opera, it’s so feature-rich that I could have written a book about it.” And that’s why it’s not from Apple. Apple isn’t feature-rich. Apple builds a few features and make them nearly perfect (in most cases). It even starts with the custom gui and continues to be bad in Webstandards like HTML5 and CSS3. It has too many features, nobody really need for surfing the web. I think our Webkit Browsers make that much more better, my friend. Even IE9 got it: Less is more.

  • Jeroen

    I really love Opera, It is my main browser for almost a year or 5 I think and still using it!

  • http://www.metpoa.com zulfazli

    Middle click scrolling is there (guess you will be switching to opera now)

    FYI, go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Shortcuts -> Middle-click options -> Enable horizontal panning. :)

  • http://Treffpunkt-Schweden.com Martin from Sweden

    Opera was and is one one the best browsers in many ways. For a long time it was the only one with tabs, and that alone was enough reason to use it.

    Even today it is the best browser to use if you have a huge amount of tabs open, especially if some of them have flash and other active content. Opera uses less memory than the other browsers, and is faster.

    I use and compare many browsers, every day, for my browsing and for web development, and while I like Safari and Firefox, if I need speed and power I always fall back to Opera.

    What, too many features?

    What a nonsense! It’s up to you to use them or not. Even if I need a feature just once per year, when I need it I love Opera for having it!

    • D-55

      PREACH ON BROTHER MARTIN!

  • katrina

    my only issue is that I can’t use it to watch netflix otherwise it would be my default

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  • Hrishikesh Sawant

    geez some of the complaints made about opera seems real odd to me. i use opera mostly but i also have chrome and firefox on the side which i use from time to time and have been doing so for a long time. and i hardly face any of the issues mentioned by most of the guys here. Opera works great for me.
    i dont see whats wrong with the interface. it great. not too dissimilar to firefox 4.
    its also fast. maybe not as fast as chrome but still faster than firefox. has dragonfly for debugging and dev which is nice and it has got good web standard support(again not as good as chrome but still great)
    check this site http://caniuse.com.
    best of all i love the Gesture system, its truly awesome. firegestures is also nice for firefox. chrome’s gesturing plugin are ok at best mainly becuz plugins dont work in certain windows on chrome like the new tab window, downloads etc. and u cant open open a custom menu with gestures, and thats a deal breaker for me. the main reason why i dont use chrome and love opera just save me a ton of time.

  • John Cook

    Very Impressed. After 2 days it is now the default browser, replacing FF.

    Fast !

  • http://twitter.com/garbaczd David Garbacz

    Opera has prided itself on getting 100/100 on the Acid3 test for years now. It’s one of the very few browsers (if not the first) to do it. Opera included built in mouse gestures FIRST. It has a built in torrent client and built in mail and IRC client, built in bookmark syncing. It gives you more out of the box features than any other browser out there.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t always play nice with some sites :( I’ve loved Opera and given it a chance over and over again but something about it just always feels off.

    • Nik

      Exactly! Opera was excellent and introduced a lot of stuff but then they just stopped developing/evolving for some reason and all the updates after 6-7 are ridiculous, stuff just being bolted on. Back then I was rather opposed to FF but in the end Opera got lots of useless options and wanted to do everything for you instead of concentrating on one thing BROWSING!

      • Nik

        …which Firefox did and still is. There are far better tools for torrents, irc, email and chat.

    • Daniel

      It’s actually the sites that don’y play nice with Opera / the Web standards. By being the most standards compliant browser for years, Opera has gained a bad reputation amongst users of not being compatible with the actual Web. As the other browsers catch on to the new standards (seems to finally be a standards race going on!) Opera should only be better and better in actual use. As it will already be working on any standards complaint site!

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  • Daniel
    • mo

      That’s ridiculous. I switched to opera in 2001, back then it had a bar on top that held buttons that contained the names of sites you had visited. When you clicked the buttons, hey presto, the site appeared. So they used a technique called MDI instead of one called TDI. Who gives a fff? As a layman, I will continue to call that tabbed browsing. (When did they change to TDI? I never noticed a difference…)

      Anyway, for years opera was the only browser where tabbed browsing actually worked! Until recently, you always had unwanted windows opening in IE and FF when trying to tab-browse. I think it still happens in IE…

  • http://www.heartratemonitorreviewstips.com Richard

    Cool! I’d never heard of Opera till now.

  • brotmaschine

    Hello,

    i’m using Opera every day!
    There are so much examples now that you’ll see: thats the right browsing machine.
    Some peple ask me, why using Opera. Always ma answer: “The new Feature you get in your browser in a new version. I’m using it since 1 year in Opera. Thing about it!”

    Sure – the other browsers have better things but the hole package is the best on market now.

  • Blair

    Just downloaded it. Nothing. Not a single page would load. Obviously my connection is working fine, as i’m typing here using Safari.

  • Hamster

    I was an Opera user for *years* – first installed it when there was a paid and free version, but then one of their releases (from memory it was 10.10) was absolutely awful. It was slow, sucked up gobs of memory, sent CPU usage through the roof (not helpful on a laptop) and crashed continually.

    I gave it one more chance when the followup version was released but it too was plagued with problems. So I switched to another.

    I still have it installed for the purposes of testing, but it’s no longer my primary browser.

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  • Nicky

    I have used Firefox for many years and just recently moved to Opera. Mozilla would place an annoying cookie from Google all the time, and I mean all the time. If you are not on a Google page it places it even if you delete it. Why? I don’t know but I don’t want to know anymore my privacy is safe with Opera where the suppose to be “Don’t be evil” company have not the same power. I am very glad that they don’t have many users because eventually popularity take off the user’s privacy.

  • fghhf

    It has a shiny and fast UI. Too bad Opera is buggy as hell. Can’t even use the Opera search bar.

  • mo

    i been using opera as my standard browser since 2001. Those were days when internet browsing was a patience-testing experience. Microsoft came out of the First Browser War on top by smothering Netscape with its free and pre-installed slow, chunky, exploitable, user-unfriendly, web-standards-ignoring IE versions 5 and 6, while Netscape itself was being messed up by its new parent AOL, which forced it to pre-maturely release a therefore slow and extremely buggy Netscape 6 to replace the LONG-outdated v4. Since there seemed to be no alternatives, people thought web browsing had to be that bad. But those very few that had come across opera knew it didn’t. Opera was MUCH lighter, faster, safer and more reliable than the two giants and already had features that were to be copied yet years later by the major browsers, such as tab-browsing, (effective) pop-up blocking, integrated search-bar, keyboard shortcuts and huge customizability. On the downside, the free version had an ad-bar on top, but the customizable UI could be made so slim and yet still functional, that opera still easily displayed as much content as the others.

    Over the years, opera did away with the ad-bar and added many great features (too many to name) that were copied (or are yet to be copied) by the other browsers. All the same, the other browsers have since caught up a good deal, and when it comes to speed and features, I would say Chrome is even on a par (but I’ll pass on the spyware, thank you). I don’t suppose opera will be a major player any time soon, because the UI is slightly unfamiliar to the average IE/Firefox/Chrome user, and although it’s highly customizable, people tend to be too lazy – either they like the defaults or they dump the browser, failing to take the time to find out about the many features that make opera really worth it.

  • http://www.avioesavenda.org/ Avioes a Venda

    Watching youtube video on Chrome or firefox make my macbook pro crazy while watching it on Opera is normal.

  • D-55

    SKINS SUCKAHS.
    None of your browsers has any decent skins. Opera snatched up all the creative people and I’m sitting here with the sexiest skin ever: Dragon Blues 12 aero. ANIMATED ICONS! It’s super easy to make your own skins so you can customize the entire dang browser to look like IE1 if you really wanted to.You can’t say that with any other browser. Also, for months I haven’t had a navigation bar. I put my address bar in the status bar, then use gestures to go forward/back. Saves space, it’s faster. While on Safari I can open… maybe 3 youtube tabs before the lag drags me down into the abyss where I will never unlag, I can spam the Open In Background Tab on top of a youtube link and have it running smooth. IT EVEN SCROLLS SMOOTHLY. But I didn’t like it. So you know what I did? I went to opera:config (check firefox’s about:config. It’s scary) and I TURNED IT OFF. Now I jump down the page instead of smooth scrolling.

  • Val

    I have finally switched to Opera after uninstalling it a couple of time earlier. Its a breeze and so easy and also very intutive. my reason was
    1. The mail client is just too fantastic and never ever reports server timed out.
    2. All emailing and browsing is in one window.
    3. Loads very fast even on slow connections. Has a turbo mode.
    4. Was very easy to switch from my old email clients. It downloaded the headers of more than 50000 emails in minutes.
    5. I find the overall design very aesthetic and not junky old fashioned.

  • Jim

    I use it, but the bookmarking system is just plain stupid. Try bookmarking different articles from the same site, for instance. Really dumb. Other than that, it is the best.

  • http://narcissism.tk Daniel Knight

    The Opera morons still haven’t figured out how to use a drop down menu for their bookmarks and not let them turn into microscopic buttons when you add more and more bookmarks. They are utter idiots. Why in the world would you make a browser in which the tabs become super thin and the bookmarks too? Can anyone say MORONS? MORONS, MORONS, MORONS, MORONS! DUMB! Idiots.

  • Niggle

    This really needs to be said: Opera has no “web standards” issues. The only times it doesn’t work with a website is when that site’s code takes certain actions depending on which browser is being used, but if the browser isn’t one the code is designed to detect (namely Opera), it gives the browser garbage. Every time I come across this problem, I use the “Edit site preferences” feature to fool the code into thinking the browser is Firefox, and bang, the site works. So really, it’s a problem of lazy web developers, not a problem with Opera itself.

  • Anti

    I have tested Opera and it simply doesnt work for me. It displays webforms much different than chrome and firefox, we use web-based forms alot at our company. One annoying thing is the ability to get along with Gmail, I love to use web-based Gmail, in firefox or Chrome I can simply drag and drop attachment files on my web-browser and click ‘SEND’ and minimize the browser tab, it will send the mail when upload is completed, I cant do that in Opera, it wastes time.

  • mg

    Been using Opera since v.8. Zoom in lower right corner: I use it all the time. Great integrated mail client. typing ‘w’ before keyword in address space will automatically search wikipedia. MOST INTUITIVE BROWSER I KNOW. Natively saves files in mht format. Portable. Only problem, as as been mentionned: Because of low share market, many developper don’t bother to make their site work with it — especially where forms are involved. Statistics seem to show that they are popular in the mobile market: Hopefolly this will have an effect on the computer market..

  • Pavarotti

    The way Opera destroys the layout of the comments on this page is speaking more than 1000 words. It has a nasty memory leak on OSX since forever, it was reported a million times and never fixed. I can’t count anymore how often compatibility with major sites like YouTube etc. was broken and new versions brought no fixes but yet another incarnation of cosmetic changes and shifting menus around, each requiring more clicks to do what you could do before without. Over the years it turned from a lean and mean fast browser to a bloated nightmare. The devs and community turned from a responsive and dedicated bunch to an ivory tower society with a bunch of annoyed moderator hounds deleting any friendly hint of critique. I’m still on Opera because I relied a lot on it and migration is so hurtful but words cannot describe how much Opera sucks by now.

  • A l b e r t

    After a few days’ use, Opera is the main browser… huh, I guess that everyone should try Opera to get that Norwegian company’s scores up. Very impressive. After downloading, I considered it being my default browser over Chrome. Yay, Opera. Recommendation comes from comments on how fast Opera is.

    Good job Opera, you were the first to pass Acid3 (or Safari?), first to have tabs, and still nobody uses you for everyday browsing. Hmph, I do, and I’m not European (I’m far from Opera’s origin).

  • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

    Hey Connor! Can I sync open tabs between my desktop and iOS browsers? This is a must for me and super simple with Chrome.

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