An Opera release somehow got past my “infallible” system for not missing anything important. Back to the drawing board I guess.
The Opera users among you probably noticed the browser having trouble disengaging itself from the Windows taskbar lately. Opera 45.0.2552.812, released on May 15, finally fixes this annoying issue. A handful of other minor bugs are addressed in the new version. None of the fixes are related to security.
Though it’s not mentioned until close to the end of the page, a recent announcement on the Opera blog entitled ‘Opera is Reborn‘ is actually about a specific new version of the browser: 45.
Opera 45 includes numerous changes to the user interface, mostly related to aesthetics: colours, backgrounds, icons, and animation. The integrated ad-blocker now reloads pages automatically when ad blocking is switched on and off. Social messaging software (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram) is now integrated into the sidebar. Video performance is improved slightly on some hardware. And you’ll now see warnings below password and credit card fields on web sites that don’t support encryption.
Many of Opera 45’s changes come from the experimental browser Neon, which Opera released a few months ago to test some ideas and elicit user feedback.
You can peruse the full change log for more information. That log includes changes to development and pre-release versions as well.
Opera’s developers were quick to respond to the recent discovery that many of the major web browsers (including Firefox and Chrome) allow site addresses to be obfuscated using special Unicode characters. Opera 44.0.2510.1449 now shows any Unicode characters in the address bar using the corresponding two digit hexadecimal code, rather than the character itself. The obfuscation technique was being used in phishing schemes.
If you use Opera’s built-in VPN (Virtual Private Network) feature, you may have found your computer running out of memory, or using more memory than usual. Opera 44.0.2510.1218 fixes the memory use bug and two bugs related to screen drawing. There are no security fixes in this release.
The folks who develop the alternative web browser Opera are working on improving page loading time, and if their own benchmarks are any indication, those efforts have paid off.
Opera 43 shows significant speed gains over Opera 42, due mainly to the introduction of two new technologies: ‘instant page loading’, which predicts the site you’re looking for as you’re typing in the address bar, and PGO, which optimizes the browser code to make it run faster when it’s most important.
The new version also includes improvements to URL highlighting/selecting. Previously, there was no way to highlight linked text. With Opera 43, highlighting linked text works as expected if you use a horizontal motion, and if you use a vertical motion, the entire link is copied, as before.
There are loads of other changes in Opera 43, as you can see from the lengthy change log. However, none of the changes seem to be related to security vulnerabilities.