The days when major browser updates were few and far between are over. Nowadays, it’s de rigueur for browser manufacturers to speed up development, which means opening up less stable builds to the masses in order to get them bug-checked as quickly as possible.
Opera is no exception, and Opera Beta (previously known as Opera Next) adopts the same approach to Firefox Beta in providing a completely separate installation of the latest unstable version of Opera for people to road-test without affecting their day-to-day browsing.
The reasoning is simple: you get to try out the new features without affecting your existing installation, so if the developmental version is too buggy for your tastes, you can use your tried and trusted version, no problem. And because Opera Beta updates as soon as the latest development build is released, you can keep checking back regularly to see what’s up and coming and whether the bugs you’ve encountered have been fixed yet.
You’ll be able to differentiate between stable and developmental build by the colour of the program icon: Opera’s icon remains red, while Opera Beta's icon is silver grey, meaning it’ll be safe for even relatively inexperienced users to try out new features before they become generally available.
This is a beta of the forthcoming v38. New additions/changes since v37, include:
- Power saving mode, which appears as a button in the user’s interface when your laptop is running in battery mode. Includes these power-saving features:
- Reduced activity in background tabs
- Automatically pausing unused plug-ins
- Reduced frame rate to 30 frames per second
- Tuning video-playback parameters and forcing usage of hardware accelerated video codecs
- Paused animations of browser themes
- Ad blocker – add your own lists
- Speed Dial improvements
- Add your own photo as theme
- Extension button visible in the Speed Dial side panel
- Browser upgrade notification
- Change in version support for OSX