- It’s got all the features: Opera got extension support in version 11, it never had an API. Yet I wanted an API only for one addon, LastPass. I never missed any other feature in Opera, neither did I install any other addon. Later I did find a text-box autocomplete addon which I liked, but I never missed this feature. In fact, whenever I installed Firefox, I looked for addons which would make it look and feel like Opera. So what are these features I am talking about? Notes, sidebar, bitTorrent support, bookmarks & notes synchronization, speed dial, custom search engines to name a few.
- Most customizable interface: Opera has got the most customizable interface of all browsers. You can customize the mouse gestures easily. You can have 2 commands in the same gesture like Open and close sidebar, so it will act according to the current status of the sidebar, this feature is not present in any other browser, with or without addons. Creating new gestures or keyboard shortcuts is a breeze and you don’t even need to do any coding. You can place any toolbar button on any toolbar, even a bookmark on the statusbar! You can place buttons on the statusbar, tabbar, sidebar etc. If a button refuses to be placed, just hold shift to place it there.
- Email Client and Feed reader: It has got built in email client and feed reader, so you don’t need to open other application to check your mail or feed. Plus they integrate so well with the interface that you need just a couple of clicks to access them. They are easily configured and easy to use.
- Smooth interface: Although I make Firefox mimic Opera’s features with the help of addons, it never feels as smooth as Opera. Since all addons come separately, they only integrate with Firefox, not with each other. So, for instance, you can open a bookmark in the All in One Sidebar, but it will never show as a button. Plus, mouse gestures do not work as smoothly in any other browser, no matter where the gesture starts or where it ends, it will work, on any tab.
- On the fly webpage modification: This might not seem to be a very useful feature, but it is fun. Plus it is unique to Opera; no other browser allows you to do this. You can open the source of any webpage, make changes and hit apply changes. The changes will show up in the original webpage (the modification will take place only on your PC, not the source page on the server).
- Comes on all platforms: In the past couple of years, computing devices have emerged in a lot of shapes, sizes and forms. So while one may be using a Windows PC, someone else may be using Linux. Some may be using Android, some Symbian, some iPhone, some blackberry and what not. Again the same person may have Windows on his PC and Mac OS X on his laptop. But on each of these devices, you could be using Opera. Not only will that keep the experience similar by providing similar interface, you could also have your bookmarks and speed dial synchronized across all these devices. That’s something only Opera can offer you.
So, enough of my chatter about Opera, if you still don’t feel like trying it, nothing will convince you to. So, go ahead and download it right now. Try all the features and tell me if didn’t feel like you had missed something by not using this browser. New versions keep coming, mostly one every year, or so. Even though it has the highest number of features compared to any other browser, new versions always bring in new features. Version 11.5, now in alpha, is about to bring extensions for Speed Dial. I am waiting with bated breath for what people can do with it.
If you try Opera and like it, don’t forget to leave a comment.
If you are an Opera fan like me, share this post with your arrogant friends to let them know of the benefits of using Opera.
P.S.: I am in no way trying to offend the users or developers of Firefox, it is a great browser and has remained my second most preferred browser after Opera for a long time
Update: Opera Logo changed on suggestion from an Opera India