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Opera 39 Improves Ad Blocker, VPN And Pop Up Video Player

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Opera adds more features to the desktop version of its browser as it seeks to compete with Chrome, Firefox and Edge

Opera has updated the desktop edition of its web browser, improving its pop out video player and ad blocker and introducing a personalised newsreader. The beta version of Opera 39 also adds new options for the built-in virtual private network (VPN) feature.

The pop out video player was first added in May and lets users detach a video and move it to the side of the screen, improving multitasking while at work. The video can be viewed in another tab or even another programme and Opera has now added ‘one click’ play and pause functionality.

Opera 39 update

Opera 39 desktopIn June, Opera users watched 842,000 hours’ worth of content using pop out video and noted that it was more popular at weekends in the UK, but used more during weekdays in other countries such as China.

The personalised newsreader has numerous display options, no adverts and permits various combinations of regions and languages, with ‘top 50’ lists for each country providing suggestions.

The Opera ad blocker, introduced in March, now allows for customisable block lists and highlighting text now produces a ‘search pop up’. Memory use has been optimised so several megabytes are saved per tab and there are several new developer options too, such as CSS contain property and a PerformanceObserver API that makes collecting user measurement data much easier.

The browser VPN now lets users choose whether to use it as a global setting for all tabs or only in private browsing mode but still remains in the beta version only. This, Opera says, is so it can identify any issues before adding it to the stable release.

Opera has added a number of features to its desktop and mobile browsers in recent times as it seeks to reduce data consumption, preserve battery life and improve privacy. According to figures from NetMarketShare, it has 1.4 percent of the global desktop browser market.

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