Released by Opera Software earlier today, version 11.60 of the Opera browser brings changes to the HTML5 rendering engine as well as speed improvements and a revision of the built-in email client. The last major release, version 11, was released during December 2010 and included new features such as visual mouse gestures, tab stacking and extension management. While this update doesn’t bring as many new features, increased performance seems to be the focus of the upgrade. The browser now utilizes the Opera Presto 2.10 rendering engine allowing for faster page load times on pages that require secure connections, but users likely won’t notice a dramatic difference in the speed.
The addition of HTML5 parsing is definitely one of the more important inclusions within this update. While Opera 11.50 added more HTML5 support during June 2011, the HTML5 rendering engine, named Ragnarök internally, is designed for increased Web page compatibility between browsers. Version 11.60 of Opera also brings a star button in the interface to click when adding a site to the Speed Dial and the email client utilizes a new interface. Changes to the email client include a two-lined message list similar to Microsoft Outlook, the ability to group messages by date or status, a sleeker, more polished look and the ability to “pin” messages within the message list to mark as important.
While the upgrade to Opera 11 will likely make many Opera users happy, Opera Software is currently hard at work with developing Opera 12 which is currently in alpha status. Similar to advances made by other major browsers, Opera 12 brings a redesigned browser engine that utilizes a computer’s graphics card for hardware acceleration in order to improve gaming performance as well as other graphically intensive applications. The new version also brings WebGL support for games and 3D content in addition to increased theme support for developers to create and publish new themes.
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