Over the years, Opera has changed dramatically. What was once their own home-brew browser, took elements (and browser engine) from Google and slapped on their own logo calling it the same name it’s always been.
Gone was the Presto engine, Unite, complete themes, and Opera Link. In place, was a bare bones browser, trying to start from scratch.
The only problem: It lacked a lot of features its predecessor had. And, in the beginning, the new Opera-Chromium wasn’t even cross-platform.
As time progressed, the new Opera got proper bookmarking, some form of theming, and now full synchronization. It’s got some of the features back. Hell, they even make Linux and Mac versions now.
The only thing missing from the Presto version (That I can think of.) is:
Built in Mail client.
So, with that said, I decided to come back to the browser.
It’s still got Speed Dial, which I enjoy using. Once I start using it, I’ll add sites to the list. I do notice it has a Microsoft Edge like feel to it with its own news feed below. It’s OK.
One thing that’s new with this particular build is the addition of native ad-blocking.
The native ad-blocking feature grabs it’s ad-blocking list from EasyList.
The benefit of having the new Opera based on the Blink engine is better compatibility with most, if not all, websites. The old Presto engine might have been great, but if you have used the old browser, you may have found yourself using Firefox to load websites that completely broke in the legacy browser.
Compared to the first iteration of Opera-Chromium, the latest finally gets it right.
…However, what if die-hard classic Opera fans want the old features back?
Vivaldi, fully customized.
Vivaldi launched as a public beta a year ago. The co-founder and CEO of Opera, Jon Stepheson, left the company to start Vivaldi Technologies. The goal was to bring back much of the old version of Opera’s features back, such as:
Mail Client (As of this writing, the Mail icon was removed from the sidebar. They’re still working on making the program stable.)
Tab Stacking (A much beloved Opera feature.)
Sync (Coming soon.)
Amongst the old features, Vivaldi introduces a more modern design that allows power users to customize the UI. If you look on the screenshot above, you can see I brought the address bar down, as well as the tabs.
Now, Vivaldi and Opera do share something similar. They both have Speed Dial.
The only complaint I have with Vivaldi’s Speed Dial is the inability to drag a site to another, creating a folder. You must create a folder, then add a website to it.
Not a deal breaker, but more of a nuisance.
Considering the browser is still in beta, they do plan on adding some other features back. It is getting better with every update.
One I like to see introduced is the built-in Bittorent program Opera once had.
So, which one is better?
Honestly, it’s hard to tell. Both offer their own unique take on Chromium. One’s more customizable, caters to power users (Vivaldi), the other is for more casual users.
They both have their own set of unique features like Opera Turbo for Opera or Tab Stacking for Vivaldi.
Give ’em a try if you’d like. Head on over to Vivaldi for their latest beta release, and head over to Opera for their latest stable build.
If you want bugs, and native ad-blocking for Opera, head to their blog to learn more about the latest Snapshot build.