Opera has finally launched the new Opera 12 desktop browser after the product underwent a long time in beta mode. This browser, which is available for both Macs and PCs, promises fast browsing, new features, and enhancements to its old functionalities. To download the new version, users simply have to go to the Opera website and install the browser from there.
One addition to the Opera 12 browser is a range of browser themes that allow users to customize the browsing application. Opera 12 offers a full gallery of some 100 themes from their website, where users can also post comments, and rate the themes according to their preferences.
Opera 12 as well throws in some new camera functions by integrating itself with the user’s webcam. Users get access to extensions like Photobooth and Polaroid, and a webcam-based game called FaceKat. Opera, giving a premium on privacy, stresses that these only function with the express consent of users.
Speaking of privacy, Opera 12 has improved user security on the browser, as well. The company is introducing a new security badge that will help users understand how a particular website is using their personal data, and even whether a website is accessing their geographical location or intends to use the user’s webcam.
The new browser version furthermore gives a boost to browsing speed, shortening the time it takes for pages to load or to render HTML 5. If that is not enough, it moreover has hardware acceleration that makes use of the PC or Mac’s graphics processor to increase speed. This feature, however, is in the experimental stage, and might cause some bugs or crashes.
Other new features include support for languages that read from right to left, enhancements to CSS3 and HTML5 for developers, a local weather update, and a live news headline feed.
The new Opera 12 desktop browser arrived only a couple of weeks after Opera launched the newest iteration of the more popular Opera Mini mobile web browser. At present, the company’s desktop browser caters to a much smaller group that the audience of other browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. However, it is likewise experiencing some growth not only in it audience but also in its income from advertising.