Opera Software released a new version of the Opera web browser yesterday that brings the version to 54 on the browser’s stable channel.
The two features of Opera 54 that Opera highlights on the official desktop team blog are news on the Speed Dial page and improvements to the visibility of update and recovery options.
Existing users can select Opera > About Opera to run a check for updates. The new version of the Opera browser is also available for direct download from the main Opera website.
News on the Speed Dial page
Opera Software introduced the personal news section in Opera 39 which it released in May 2016. Opera users could load the personal news section to display news based on a selection of sources, regions and languages.
You can display the top 50 news, news from sources integrated in Opera natively, and custom news sources on the personal news page. It works similarly to how RSS feeds work but is built-in the browser and gives you less control than dedicated RSS readers such as QuiteRSS.
The new news section on the Speed Dial page looks like a basic version of personal news. You find a selection of news displayed by default.
Each news item is displayed with the source, title, and a thumbnail icon. A click on an item opens the website it was published on in a new browser tab.
You can click on topics such as health, business, or living at the top to display news of interest, and even combine different interests.
Customization options are limited to the selection of categories and the selection of languages and countries.
There is no option to add custom news sources which is unfortunate as it limits sources to what Opera has preselected.
Opera users who don’t want news on the Speed Dial page can disable it with a click on the settings icon on the Speed Dial page and toggling “Show News” there.
Update and Recovery improvements
Opera has made the update and recovery options more visible in Opera 54. Both do what the names imply: update runs a check for updates and recovery rests Opera either entirely or only Opera but no user data.
You find the new options with a click on the Opera button and the selection of Update and Recovery from the menu that opens.
Tip: You can load opera://update to open the page directly.
The Update section lists the version of Opera and data & time of the last update check. Opera tells you if it is up to date and you may click on the check for update button to run a manual check for updates.
There is a also a “report” option to inform Opera about things that don’t work.
Recovery offers a short description of the feature. A click on the recover button displays the two options (reset and keep data, or reset all).
Note that you will lose access to bookmarks, passwords and other data if you select “reset my data and Opera settings” and hit the recover button to start the process.
The feature may be useful if Opera does not work right and you suspect that something is not right with the browser installation. You could try to reset the browser and keep the data to see if it resolves the issue. Opera resets settings when you do so that it is ensured that Opera runs with the default settings.
The full changelog lists all changes between the release of Opera 53 and Opera 54. Notable changes from the log are:
- Option to disable Opera Instant Search in the Settings.
- Chromium updated to version 67.0.3396.87.
- Fixed several crashes.
- Control support for TLS 1.3 on opera://flags/#tls13-variant.
More and more browser developers add news or articles to New Tab pages or other locations in browsers that they develop. Firefox may display Pocket stories on the New Tab Page, Google has been pushing news in Chrome for Android for some time already, and Microsoft displayed news on Edge’s new tab page since it launched the browser.
Now You: News in the browser, yay or nay?
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