Opera Software has officially rebooted the Opera browser and relaunched it in a brand-new “Reborn” guise. The Neon-compatible browser brings a fancy new look to the browser market, as well as an ad blocker, virtual private network (VPN) service, and built-in chat functions, all of which could help separate it from the more popular competition.
Although a number of these additions to Opera have been made over the past year, the developers behind it are taking this opportunity to relaunch it officially under the new Reborn moniker. In its breakdown of what the new version represents, Opera claims that it’s time the world rethinks what it means to be a browser — hence the new and innovative features.
Alongside some of the earlier releases, the big feature Opera is touting with Reborn is the built-in chat functions. Tools like Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are now available within the browser itself. No longer do you need to jump to a different tab, or open up a separate piece of software.
Alongside the new messaging abilities, Reborn makes the look of the browser much more personal to the user. Available in two base color themes — light and dark — you can also change the background to one that suits your personal style.
Shaking things up further, Reborn adds a new set of icons to a menu that runs vertically down the left-hand side of the screen. All the icons have subtle animations to make them more lively and visible. Turn on private mode, for example, and a floating hand will pull a virtual shade down over the screen.
Improving its existing ad-blocking function further, the new version of Opera automatically reloads a page when you change your preference. That way, if you want to support a specific site, you can quickly turn off the function, or you can neuter the advertisements on a site that you find particularly intrusive. There are also new ways to manage your lists of whitelisted sites that let you load in lists that are specific to your region or entirely customized.
Other changes include some performance improvements for videos, with the browser sending much more to the GPU for decoding, and some security tweaks, which let you know when a website is less secure than is optimum.
You can find the official download links for Opera Reborn on Windows, MacOS and Linux at the bottom of the latest blog post, or on the official site.