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Opera 44 Adds Browser Support For Apple Mac Touch Bar

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Opera adds Touch Bar support along with multiple new features in browser update

Opera has become the first major web browser after Apple’s Safari to introduce support for the Touch Bar with the release of Opera 44.

The browser update introduces multiple features centred around the Touch Bar, enabling contextual actions such as going back, focusing the address field and navigating through Speed Dials for users on MacBook Pro devices.

Users will now also be able to navigate through multiple tabs by sliding their finger across the website icons, which are presented in varied colours and with different backgrounds.

Opera touchbar

Opera touch bar

“When we first saw the Touch Bar, we immediately recognised how it could be useful for the browser, allowing people to switch tabs without lifting their eyes from the keyboard to the tab bar on top of the screen,” writes Krystian Kolondra, EVP of Desktop at Opera.

 “We were surprised to find Safari’s implementation to show tiny thumbnails of web pages in the relatively small touchbar area.”

Other features in Opera 44 include a “tuned-up” version of Chromium 57 which adds support for CSS Grid Layout and WebAssembly, along with providing additional energy consumption reductions to the battery saver feature introduced last year.

There is also support for the Credential Management API, which gives users a simpler sign-in process across devices and provides websites with more control over the usage of login credentials.

Since the failed $1.2 billion (£900m) takeover by a Chinese consortium in July 2016, Opera has introduced several new features to its browser in an effort to compete with the likes of Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Edge.

These include improvements to its ad blocker, VPN and pop-up video player, followed by the introduction of a free Android VPN app and the addition of a native VPN to its desktop browser.

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