A security update in the Chrome engine prompted last week’s release of Opera 58.0.3135.90. Opera is built on Google’s Chrome engine (also known as Blink), so when there’s a security update in Chrome, it usually finds its way into Opera within days.
Aside: The Blink engine forms the core of many popular browsers. I use Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Edge for different tasks, based on my experience with those browsers. Opera, Vivaldi, and of course Chrome are built on the Blink engine. Internet Explorer is being phased out. Edge will soon be built using Blink instead of Microsoft’s own engine. The Blink engine seems poised to take over completely, which has some people concerned.
To check Opera’s version, click its ‘O’ menu (usually at the top left), then select
Update & Recovery, then click
Check for Update.
The latest version of Opera, which is still a useful alternative to Firefox and Chrome, sports an improved (and faster) ad blocker.
The new ad blocker now provides protection against cryptojacking, where a web site will attempt to use your browser (and your computer) for mining cryptocurrency.
With Opera 52, you can now select multiple tabs, and perform various operations on all of the selected tabs, including copying the related URLs to the clipboard with a single command.
The release notes and change log for Opera 52 provide additional details.
The latest version of alternative web browser Opera features numerous improvements, including:
- faster browsing performance
- new: click a page’s tab to jump back to the top of the page; click it again to return
- new: added import and export buttons to the bookmark manager
- new: collapsible lists of opened and closed tabs in the tabs menu
- new: ‘Back to tab’ button for video pop-out windows
- new: global Flash allow
- new: safely and easily reset browser settings
- new: preferences backup
- new: use your desktop wallpaper as Opera’s background
The release announcement and change log for Opera 51 provide additional information. Note that the log includes changes made while Opera 51 was only available in beta and developer versions.
Several Windows-specific issues were also addressed in Opera 50.0.2762.67. The change log for Opera 50 provides details.
Opera, the alternative web browser from Norway, adds several new features in version 50, which was released earlier in January.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature detects and blocks covert cryptocurrency mining, a new threat that sneakily uses your computer’s resources to make money for the perpetrators.
Other changes in this release include:
- Chromecast support
- VR Player enhancements, including Oculus Rift support
- new: save web pages as PDF files
- improvements to the tab context menu
- currency and unit converter improvements
- better crash protection
- enhancements to the built-in VPN service
You can peruse the Opera 50 change log for additional details. Keep in mind that the log shows all changes to Opera 50 from its origin as a developer release in September 2017, through its beta stages, to its official release in early 2018.
Opera just updated itself on my main computer, and now I’m running version 49.0.2725.47, which Opera itself says is the latest version. Which is odd, because the change log for Opera 49 shows the most recent set of changes is for version 49.0.2725.56.
Version confusion aside, the changes listed for Opera 49.0.2725.56 appear to be minor bug fixes. Which is weird, because the new version announcement mainly talks about improvements to Opera’s built-in VPN (Virtual Private Network) feature. The updated VPN service is apparently faster and better; it’s also now hosted on Opera’s own servers instead of SurfEasy’s.
If you use Opera’s built-in VPN, version 49.0.2725.56 may be worth exploring. Otherwise it’s unlikely to be of much interest.
A new version of alternative web browser Opera sports new features that may be of interest to some users, but aren’t likely to excite much interest in most.
Opera’s developers have added a screen shot feature to the browser, apparently in response to similar features being added to other browsers recently. I still don’t understand the point, especially since the feature can’t be used outside the context of the browser. You’re better off using a screen capture tool that works in any context.
There’s also a new Virtual Reality player, something that looks cool but likely isn’t particularly useful for most people.
Opera 49 includes numerous other enhancements, but most seem cosmetic in nature. The full change log has all the details. Note that the log includes changes made to Opera 49 while it was still only available as a ‘developer’ version.
There’s another small update for Opera. Version 45.0.2552.888 addresses a few minor issues in the installer and user interface. Details are in the change log. None of the changes impact security.
A new version of Opera fixes a sidebar crashing issue and tweaks a few display settings. There are no security changes in this version. See the announcement and change log for details.
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.