updated 06:50 pm EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
Opera gets customizable themes, photo integration
Opera today released the latest version of its browser, Opera 12. The new version for the first time integrates customizable themes into Opera, and it features upgrades for security and plug-in operations. The new version also builds webcam capability directly into the browser. Opera 12 touts faster startup time and page loading thanks to a responsive tab-loading feature, which retains a tab's site information upon restart, but doesn't load the tab until it is selected by the user. The upgrade also contains tweaks aimed at increasing page loading time.
The new themes feature allows users to change the look of the browser without the need for restarting. Opera has a selection of colorful themes available on its site, but users are also able to design their own and install with a single click.
The camera integration in Opera 12 allows sites access to a user's webcam to take and upload pictures, though of course users must allow sites permission before the camera can be used. Opera 12 also contains a number of light photo-editing options, allowing users to make humorous alterations to photos before posting them.
The update carries alterations to Opera's security badge settings, new APIs for extensions, and support for Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Hebrew in its UI. Opera 12 gives users the option to enable hardware acceleration WebGL support in order to pull extra processing power from a computer's graphics card. The new version also disables Opera Unite and Opera Widgets by default for new users.
Opera 11 debuted in 2010, but still holds a small market share compared to its competition. While its standing in the desktop browser market remains small, Opera provides its versions of its browser across a range of devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and web-enabled televisions.