The new Opera 12 web browser has a lot going for it, claimed to have become faster and more stable. Opera has changed, now featuring WebGL hardware acceleration and out-of-process plug-ins.
WebGL means that the browser renders 3D graphics using your computer's video card. This gives a healthy speed boost to 3D animations and other CPU-intensive graphic processes, making your browser work faster. This function isn't enabled by default, however; it has to be switched on manually through opera:config.
The out-of-process plug-ins stand, as it follows from their name, for browser plug-ins that run as separate processes from Opera. As a result, the browser remains stable even if one of the plug-ins crashes, making your work more comfortable.
These are not the only major changes. Beginning with version 12, Opera Unite, Opera Widgets, and Opera Voice have become history. Their place has been overtaken by the extensions as this technology has proved to be more secure and easier to handle than the previous ones.
Among some other user-oriented improvements that are worth mentioning are redesigned security badges, new themes, and the extensive use of the computer's web camera in your browsing. The redesigned security badges make it easier to see privacy and security settings on websites: the badges are shown in the address bar and are color-coded.
The developers have also facilitated the personalization of the browser and created new free-to-load skins (nature, cartoons, games, abstract ones, etc.). What's more, you can upload a picture from your computer to set as the browser theme.
Opera has something for social network fans too: the browser can use your computer's web camera allowing you to make an instant photo of yourself and post it directly to your Facebook profile or share it with your friends through other photo web apps.
Some changes are targeted at developers, providing them with a whole bunch of nice new features: Opera 12 supports such web standards as WebRTC, HTML5 Drag and Drop, CSS3 Animations and transitions, etc.
Besides, Opera now supports several right-to-left scripts. The user interface of the browser can be displayed in four new languages: Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hebrew.
To sum up, the Opera Software team have put their heart and soul into new Opera version 12. While still supporting different operating systems, the browser has become faster, more stabler and more customizable with wider opportunities for professional web developers.
- Faster than before
- WebGL support
- More stable
- Plug-ins run as separate processes
- New themes
- WebGL and hardware acceleration may not work properly on some machines, causing graphics artifacts