What does Chrome\’s Most Visited Sites, Safari\’s Top Sites and Internet Explorer\’s Most Popular Sites have in common? They were all inspired by Opera\’s Speed Dial feature that Opera introduced in version 9.2. Speed Dial became an instant hit and it became available in Firefox as an add-on soon after. Other browsers basically copied Opera. One can argue that it is one of the most popular contribution of Opera in the browser market next to tabbed browsing that it popularized in the early 2000.
Opera just released version 11.50 (\”Swordfish\”) which pushes the boundaries of Speed Dial as it is now possible to use extensions on Speed Dial.
Opera 11.50 supports a new type of extension that lets you show live, real-time content right in your Speed Dial. This makes it easy to check the weather, see what\’s new on your favorite blogs or view the latest tweets—just by opening a new tab to look at your Speed Dial. Find useful and interesting examples of these extensions in our extensions catalog.
Swordfish also has improved user interface. The default theme is even lighter, brighter, and is more user-friendly. Of course you can always customize the look and feel if you don\’t like the default skin.
Opera now also offers synchronization of password using Opera Link similar to sync features of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
In addition, Opera is now allowing testers to quickly test bleeding-edge version of Opera browser via Opera Next which is a separate product made for testing only. I believe this is the answer to increased speed of releases of web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
With 200 million strong users and still growing, I am just amazed how Opera thrives amidst the browser wars. There are many browsers out there and Opera is probably one of the most underrated.