Opera 15 FINAL gets complete reboot, switches rendering engine
Just a month after unveiling the first beta of Opera 15 to the public, Opera Software has released Opera 15.0 FINAL. Version 15 sees the browser get a complete reboot, sporting a new browser engine, revamped interface and a number of new features.
The new release does not spell the end of the previous version, however, with Opera 12.15 FINAL still available (and due to be updated shortly) for those reluctant to move on.
One of the key reasons for existing users’ reluctance to switch immediately to Opera 15 is the fact that there are several beloved features from the existing version missing from this new build, including any support for bookmarks outside of Opera’s Speed Dial feature.
This is largely down to the fact the new browser has been rebuilt from the ground up, so many of these features should reappear over time – Opera 15 sees the browser switch to a rapid release cycle, with new updates promised every couple of weeks. One feature that is unlikely to reappear, however, is the built-in mail client, which Opera has hived off into a standalone product, Opera Mail.
The big change in Opera 15 is under the hood, with its switch from Opera’s own proprietary Presto web rendering engine to the open-source Chromium engine from Google. This has been joined by a revamped user interface that is designed to work natively with Windows and Mac, resulting in a look that’s better integrated with the platform it’s running on.
Two brand new features have been added to Opera 15 in the form of Discover and Stash. The former provides users with a place to get relevant content based on localisation and personal preferences, while the Stash feature makes it easy to compare related web pages or websites together.
Users wishing to upgrade from Opera 12 to Opera 15 should read this blog post that details how their profile will be converted to the new browser. Many settings and preferences should be automatically imported, but others – such as bookmarks that will be converted into Speed Dial entries – will need to be done so manually.
To facilitate the switch from bookmarks, Opera 15 includes a number of Speed Dial-related improvements, with users now able to file shortcuts into folders, plus use a search field to quickly filter entries.