Opera’s been killing off some of its mobile apps recently. Opera Max died last summer. Opera VPN will leave this world next week. But the company still continues to focus on its core products: web browsers.
Both browsers have a new feature called Instant Search, which lets you conduct a search without leaving the current page or opening a new tab. Just tap the search button (or hit Alt+space) and a box pops up on top of the current view. Type your search term and you’ll see a live list of results and a new tab only opens when you click on one.
Mobile users can also search by voice or scan a QR code or barcode to search. Desktop users can search open tabs as well as web results.
Both browsers also support a new experience called Flow, which links your mobile and desktop browsing experience. Once Flow is enabled, you can share links, pictures, videos, or notes between the two browsers and the results are encrypted. You set it up by scanning a QR code, and there’s no need to enter a username or password, as you have to do with most other browsers that can sync your data (like Chrome and Firefox).
If my calculations are correct, Opera Touch is the 7,923rd version of Opera for mobile devices. The company has been releasing mobile browsers since long before smartphones were a thing, and Opera currently has three different browser for Android: Opera Mini, Opera, and Opera Touch.
The company says Opera Touch is different because it’s designed to be easy to use with one hand on modern smartphones thanks to navigation features placed within thumb’s reach. There’s a menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen when you need it, and that instant search bar is lower on the screen than a typical browser location/search bar.
The new mobile browser also has a built-in ad blocker (you’ll need to enable it, because it’s turned off by default), and classic Opera features like the company’s speed dial launcher with icons for websites you visit most often.
Opera Touch is currently available for Android, and it’s coming soon to iOS. Maybe this one will stick around for a few years.
The desktop version of Opera is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.