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Archive for February, 2007

New Speed Dial functionality in the Opera browser for bookmarks

February 28, 2007 16 comments

speeddialsmall.pngThe Opera desktop team today introduced a new way to quickly access your bookmarked sites, using a new functionality called “Speed Dial”.

Similar to Speed Dial on Opera Mini, where you can quickly access your top 9 bookmarked sites by simply pressing “*” with the bookmark number on the phone keypad (i.e. *1), the desktop browser allows you to use CTRL+1 to CTRL+9 for the top 9 sites. In addition, these bookmarked sites will also be shown in a thumbnail preview on blank tabs. Clicking on the thumbnail preview brings you to the site. In addition, a search field will also show above the Speed Dial pad.

I suggest you read more details on this new functionality on the desktop team blog.

Although showing Speed Dial thumbnails on blank tabs is very different than what most users are probably used to now, it does offer quick access to the most often used tasks.

Browsing websites could fall into three categories.

  1. You visit your usual 5-6 sites (i.e. you check your email, read the news, some social networks, etc.).
  2. You don’t know the URL of the site, so you search for it on Yahoo, Google, etc.
  3. You know the URL of the site, however it’s not one of the top 5-6 sites you usually visit.

Speed Dial takes care of the first two categories. If you’re most likely to visit one of your top 5-6 sites or search for something online, then why not bring it one click closer by showing them on new empty tabs.

Speed Dial can be easily turned off.

This functionality is perhaps geared mostly toward the non-power user crowd; I wonder how popular this will be with the tech savvy. I’ve been playing around with Speed Dial for the past few weeks, though I haven’t used it long enough to form an opinion on it.

A test version of the browser including this new functionality was released today. Go get it from the desktop team blog.

Categories: Desktop

Live chat with Opera's CEO on Thursday

February 28, 2007 6 comments

This week’s Opera chat will be with Jon von Tetzchner, the founder and CEO of Opera. The chat will take place tomorrow, Thursday March 1st, at 5:00 PM CET (check your local time) in the #webapps IRC channel. (You could use the Opera browser to visit IRC channels).

Unfortunately, I won’t be there – I’ll be on my plane ride back to the US from Oslo, Norway – the global headquarters of Opera Software, though I did have a chance to talk with him in person last night. I hope one of you will post the chat log online.

Be sure to join the conversation.

tetzchner.jpg

Categories: Uncategorized

New Opera Community site coming next week

February 28, 2007 6 comments

Here’s the latest scoop on the big update to the Opera Community Site, my.opera.com, it’s going live next week! The new site will introduce a brand new design with additional features and sections (see screenshots).

Categories: Opera Community

Traffic to Opera's websites increased dramatically since going ad-free in the browser

February 27, 2007 11 comments

Since Opera removed the ads from the desktop browser in late 2005, traffic to opera.com, my.opera.com and other Opera sites have experienced a significant increase, according to Alexa (see graph below).

Alexa, which tracks net traffic, ranked opera.com as the 700th most visited site on the web. The Opera Community site, my.opera.com, represents more than 60% of the total traffic to Opera’s site.

This data is a mere trend and of course doesn’t reflect the actual usage of the Opera browser – however, since going ad-free, the average daily downloads rate for the desktop browser has more than doubled.

opera-com-traffic.png

Categories: Desktop

Opera CEO talks a bit about future plans for the browser

February 27, 2007 15 comments

In an interview with the EE Times Opera’s founder and CEO Jon von Tetzchner spoke about some of the new innovations and browsing plans for the Opera browser. The big question is “how can the various Opera browsers that are on the multiple platforms (i.e. desktop, mobile, and devices) work together?” Here is what he said:

“If you are browsing, you come across something you like and you bookmark it. Maybe you would like to have the same bookmark on your mobile.”

When I interviewed Jon a few months ago, he also mentioned these big plans of Opera (watch the interview).

“When it comes to the slightly, further into the future [plans], we’re adding the capability to synchronize things between the different offerings, whether you’re using Opera on the mobile or the desktop and the like, which is going to make the experience of utilizing the internet across platforms seamless. And I think that’s a great thing and something to be excited about.”

P.S. The Opera CEO will be on this week’s Opera Chat on Thursday, March 1st (details here).

PC Magazine gives Opera Mini a 4-star rating

February 26, 2007 Comments off

The good reviews on Opera Mini just keep on coming. Today PC Magazine published a review on Opera Mini 3, and gave it a 4-star rating saying “it’s a no-brainer download.”

“Opera Mini’s strength is in reformatting regular-sized pages so that you can view them on a cell phone’s smaller screen.”

“Opera Mini remains a must if you’ve got a feature phone and don’t want to spend the extra dough to upgrade to a smartphone.”

If you’ve got a Windows smartphone, then of course you’d use the Opera Mobile browser. 🙂

Categories: Opera Mini

Screenshots of the very first public version of Opera, called MultiTorg Opera

February 23, 2007 9 comments

MultiTorg Opera. Yup, that used to be the name of the Opera browser.

I just read the initial overview of the first version of Opera again that was written by none other than the current Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner. He and the other co-founder of the company were first two programmers of the Opera browser. I found it interesting that even in the beginning Jon’s idea about the Opera browser was for it to be fast and standards compliant. That’s still very much the case now.

“The aim was to make a lean program that works fast and supports standards without introducing proprietary extensions.”

The Opera CEO will be on next Thursday’s Opera chat. You don’t want to miss that.

Below are some screenshots of the browser back from 1995 (Opera has been around for a long time, more than 11 years).

multtorg-opera-small1.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

multtorg-opera-small2jpg
(Click to enlarge)

multtorg-opera-small3.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

Categories: Uncategorized