The Opera Browser has been chugging along for years with a small but dedicated fan base. That has certainly extended to mobile. In fact, that's probably Opera's biggest market now. This browser switched to using Chromium a while back, and today it's getting a big update. Not only does it get a new build of Chromium, the tablet layout is getting a redesign.

1 2

Here's the changelog straight from Opera:

  • based on chromium 31
  • new UI for tablet devices
  • improvements in search engine list
  • new remote debugging feature (requires new permissions)
  • fixed issue with fullscreen video playback
  • fixed issue with HW back button on Discover
  • fixed issue with viewport size in new tab
  • fixed issue with keyboard staying on screen
  • fixed issue with page reload when leaving text input in off-road pages
  • various stabilization and performance improvements

3 4 5

The new version of Chromium should bring some rendering improvements, as well as a little speed bump. The new Tablet UI will probably be a more noticeable change, though. It makes tabs and navigation controls easier to access, and is more spaced out in general. All those bug fixes can't hurt either. Opera is free, so check it out.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    I'm starting to get tired of waiting for Chrome to load. It's becoming bloated. I'm running a Galaxy Nexus what should I go with if I'm looking for more speed? The asop browser is fairly fast but devoid of options.

    • Cory_S

      After seeing how badly Chrome still works on even a Snapdragon 800 I have also decided to ditch it. The problem is obviously not power based.

    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      AOSP is probably your best bet. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are all pretty unusable on my Galaxy Nexus (Chrome being the most unusable).

      • Danny Blaney

        unfortunately the aosp browser was ruined in android 4.4. They transitioned it to chromium webview, so now its just a crappier version of chrome.

        • Cerberus_tm

          You could just restore a back-up of the old stock browser?

    • Justin Foster

      Have you tried Next Browser? It's fast, never caused my home screen to redraw, and has a good amount of extensions and desktop features.

      • gtg465x

        This. Next Browser is great. I just wish the company behind it was slightly less shady. A browser has access to all of your web passwords, so it's a bit more comforting using a browser from known reputable company. Firefox Beta is also getting pretty good, and its extension support is awesome, but it's still not quite there yet. On Android 4.3 and older devices, the AOSP browser still works well and is in the Play Store as Android Browser by Digital Cookies. I keep wishing a Chrome update will drastically improve performance, but I've been waiting for a long time now and it's still not the best performer. Sucks.

        • http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002275.shtml D.Smithee

          I've used Next Browser--and it's extremely well put together...but I just can't bring myself to trust Go Dev Team.

    • Zell

      I ditched Chrome for good. I am using Naked Browser - a browser truly naked of excessive or redundant UI, it just gets things done fast. Give it a try.

      • TornZero

        And if Naked Browser isn't compatible with your phone, Lightning Browser fills that hole without a problem.

      • Cerberus_tm

        What do you like about it? Does it have quick controls, like the stock browser?

    • Harsha

      I too had faced problems with chrome on my Samsung Galaxy S. It was laggy. Went back to opera classic.

      But after upgrading to Android 4.4, using Chrome is much better.

      • Marcell Lévai

        The same here. Still rocking the good ol' Galaxy S. 4.4 is such a breeze. I switched to Chrome too ;)

      • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael Luik

        Why don't you use the latest Opera for Android then? It's based on Chromium but has more features like text wrapping and the Speed Dial which gives quicker access to favorite pages, Off-road, etc.

    • abobobilly

      You should try browsers like Opera Mobile Classic, Naked Browser or even AOSP. You won't be disappointed by either of these.

      Personally, i prefer Opera Mobile Classic. Use it and you'll know why.

      • Cerberus_tm

        I'd like to try the first two. But I am using the stock browsers for its quick controls, which are really the best thing ever.

      • Richard

        That's a bad idea. Using an outdated browser isn't good. I used to use the classic version as well, until sites stated breaking for me in subtle ways over time. Also, this comes with security issues as well. :)

    • RushArt

      Nobody recommend Dolphin? It is pretty slick.

  • SimonPieman

    Always been a fan of Opera browser, on both mobile and Desktop. Their current Achilles heel is their switch to Blink had meant both their desktop and mobile browsers are without sync still. Opera desktop 19 has just implemented, so hopefully a Opera mobile 19 developer preview will be along soon.

  • Matthew Fry

    I'll try it again. Every time there's a major update I try them again. I almost always switch back to Chrome Beta because it is seems to have the least overall problems.

  • Matthew Fry

    I'll try it again. Every time there's a major update I try them again. I almost always switch back to Chrome Beta because it is seems to have the least overall problems.

  • abobobilly

    I am probably one of the biggest Opera Fan out there, and have been a dedicated Opera user even when they weren't number 1. However, recent turn of events by Opera team has disappointed me severely. And Opera on Android is a prime example of WHY. (The new Opera on PC is worst).

    Lets just talk about Opera on Android. Even after all these years, "Opera Mobile (now) Classic" is still the best thing ever happened to android. If you take aside its only "UI" related issues which is just like its name ... "Classic", then its undoubtably one of the best browsers out there. Tabbed browsing is Unmatched where all the tabs will be active "at once" (in current "mobile" browsers, a tab will be "frozen" if you switch to another tab). If you want an example of this, then try loading YouTube videos in a couple of Tabs. And even after all that, its one of the most Resource Optimized browser in Android.

    I am not aware of the "technical" changes they have been doing with this "new" opera but its obvious that the performance is going downhill instead of improving. Its being more Resource Hungry and the Performance in comparison, is just isn't worth it. Infact, its just like a Sibling to Chrome, with added "Off Road" (former Turbo) feature.

    I sincerely hope they get their sh*t together. Until then, i am all in love with Opera Mobile Classic.

    • silaslenz

      You are probably using an somewhat old phone. From my experience, Opera classic works better on the Nexus S, but the usual one is faster on my Nexus 4.

      • abobobilly

        You are right. I am using a Galaxy S i9000 running a BETA Kit Kat ROM. But I also have a Nexus 7 2012 and situation is pretty much the same on that too.

        See, devices with more resources aren't really a benchmark of the performance for some apps (Strictly pointing towards optimization). Given more resources, it'll definitely run better (The new Opera seems to do "fine" with high end devices, but "fine" isn't "best").

        On tablet i am using almost ALL the browsers out there including Firefox, Boat, AOSP, Opera, Naked, Phonton and quite a few others. My primary browser remains to be Chrome because of its gesture based tab switching (which is taken away from us now). But if i have to pick my favorite overall, i'd definitely choose "Opera Classic". Its download manager is also a plus point for me. But I do agree that given today's needs, its certainly feels A LOT more outdated than it actually is.

    • TornZero

      I still use Opera 12 on my computer. Until they can match Opera 12's features and performance with their WebKit version (and that especially means full Opera Link and even something as basic as the damn Bookmarks Bar), I'm definitely not moving.

      • abobobilly

        THIS. Ma Man.

        Eventhough i am using Opera Next (v18 - to keep an eye out on the advancement) and Opera 12, the latter is still my primary browser for a lot of reasons.

        If you notice, its more memory optimized too, and is just as fast as the "new" (meh) Opera.

        Anyway, the situation is pretty much the same on Android, which was the point i wanted to convey.

    • Tahsin Ahmed

      As a web developer, I can only tell you that presto is not so good with latest and modern web technologies.

      • abobobilly

        I believe you. As a consumer, we might not understand the advancements from developers perspective.

        It might take a while getting this all working flawlessly (maybe), until then we can't do any thing else other than bitching about "whats not working" and "whats not working well". :)

  • Jacob Groß

    Can someone tell me why there is a beta version of opera in the play store? The "stable" version gets updates before the beta... Fuck logic!

  • WestSiide

    I always give this Opera version a try after every update but always end up going back to opera classic. This new opera browser always seems to be resource and power hungry but I'll give it another shot.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael Luik

      Its getting smoother in each new version. Unfortunately Chromium efficiency isn't up to par with Presto yet as everyone here knows (there are aways comments about Chrome being slow in mobile devices here on AP) but I like it, I'm managing and using it as my default browser since Opera 15.

  • Jeremy Wielopolski

    There's little chance of me switching from Opera (desktop or mobile) for everyday use. Call me a fanboy. One thing that disappoints me about the "new" tablet UI is the loss of the tab switching style that's still in the phone UI. I really like the pop-up flip through style as opposed to the tabs just sitting on top of the page. I think I felt like it was easier to manage my ADHD 20+ windows with the flip through format.

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Oh look!
    The direct Play Store links are back on AP pages! Yay.

  • Lry

    I do like opera. It's definitely one of the best of the chromium based browsers (although I use torch browser a lot).

  • Mikko Leinonen

    IE 11 is better than chromium-opera. Used Opera since 90:ies. A Swan song to browser that i used to love. Farewell with 12.16.