Building on features introduced in its Opera Internet browser version 7.0 for Windows released earlier this year, Opera Software has announced an updated 7.10 Windows browser as well as a new 7.10 beta version for Linux.
The Linux 7.10 beta represents the first version update of the browser for open source users since the company released its updated 6.12 Linux browser in October 2002.
One of the latest tools introduced into both the Windows and Linux platform versions of 7.10 are the FastForward and Rewind functions. The accelerated forward and backward scanning options, which are illustrated by fast forward and rewind buttons in the main Opera browser toolbar, are designed to anticipate where the user will want to go next.
To do this, FastForward analyses a page and looks for links that will take you to the next page, said Live Leer, marketing and communications manager at Opera Software. For example, if a user performs a search with Google and records several pages of search results “it [FastForward] looks for certain patterns that indicate a "next" link, or uses "" if it is defined in the page,” Leer said.
Leer said FastForward will also be activated if users open a page previously saved in Opera’s Wand manager. This feature, which was introduced in version 7.0 for Windows, gives users a one-click log-in to password-protected sites.
“The ‘Forward’ Main bar icon will change to ‘Log in’, and clicking the ‘Log in’ button or using the keyboard shortcut or mouse gesture for going forward will log you in.”
Although the FastForward feature was available to Windows users in Opera version 7.0, the company says it has further enhanced the usability of the feature for the 7.10 release, as well as introduced the new rewind function.
Another feature included in 7.10 is the new slideshow option, which Opera claims to be the first offered in an Internet browser. This allows users to view photo files on the Web as a slideshow presentation and is accessible through the F11 key.
Other tools available in 7.10 include a notes application, which users can use in conjunction with Web pages, as well as a cookie manager.
But while the new functionality of 7.10 is touted as a plus for users across both platforms, it is open source users who will be the biggest winners from the latest browser release, Opera Software claims.
As well as gaining access to new features, the company says the 7.10 version of Opera will now give Linux users access to Opera’s M2 e-mail client, previously only available in the Windows 7.0 browser version. The client supports POP3, IMAP and ESMTP and has an integrated spam filter.
The Linux beta also has Opera’s spatial navigation feature, designed to give users access to links and other navigational tools on a Web page by using the shift and arrow keys on their keyboards.
Other Opera tools integrated into the 7.10 Linux version include customisable mouse gestures and browser interface, keyboard shortcuts, multiple user style sheets and a favourites hotlist.
The 7.10 Opera browser beta for Linux is now available for download from the Opera Web site: www.opera.com/download.