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Thursday, October 14, 2010
Opera Talks Future of the Web


Opera today announced today the extension feature in the upcoming Opera 11 alpha, unveiled new features of the next versions of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile and also clarified that the Opera Mobile public beta for Android will be available this month.

The anouncements were made at a press event hosted today by the company in its hometown of Oslo, Norway.

The press day titled "Up North Web" was themed around the future of the Web with speakers from Opera including Lars Boilesen, CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer and Hakon Wium Lie, Chief Technology Officer.

Opera?s leaders gave the journalists their vision of products and technologies that will shape the Web today and in the future.

As part of the event, Opera pre-announced and showcased the following products to the group of journalists:

* The new extension feature in the upcoming Opera 11 alpha, which will be made available soon from www.opera.com/browser/next/.

Extensions in Opera is a way for users to easily add new functionality to the Opera browser. Developers can create extensions using open standards (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript) and supported APIs. Extensions will be based on the W3C Widget specifications and this is being considered for an Open Standard effort.

Opera said that the Extensions will be similar in some ways to extensions in other browsers and that the company had tried to make it easy to port extensions from certain browsers.

Some extensions have user interface elements, but not all. An extension can for example add a button next to the Google Search field with a popup menu when users click on it. Other extensions don't have user interfaces at all, but run in the background.

With the first iteration of Opera Extensions Opera is focusing on open web standards and 'getting it right'. It's alpha release supports injectable JavaScript, callouts, certain UI items and a basic Tabs and Windows API.

* Technologies and features being introduced in next versions of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile, including hardware acceleration and pinch to zoom. Demos included Opera Mini on iPhone and Opera Mobile on Android.

* Opera Mobile public beta for Android
Opera will release Opera Mobile for Android phones within a month. Available for all Android versions, Opera Mobile also includes two new features. The new features are Hardware Acceleration and Pinch to zoom.

Hardware Acceleration allows Opera Mobile to run at fast speed. Navigating a page will be faster, and the improvements to the UI will be momentous, Opera said. All this is made possible by taking full advantage of the power available on a phone. Hardware Acceleration allows Opera to do amazing things like full pinch to zoom for all sites.

The current versions of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini have two levels of zoom. One for the full page width and one for zooming in to read the text. With Pinch to Zoom users will be able to choose their own level of zoom just like in Opera Desktop. Text will now be rendered at a per character level and zooming in will be a fluid zoom from page-width down to the text users want to focus on.

Opera did not say exactly when the Opera Mobile for Android will be available, although it will be available from m.opera.com and Android Market within a month.


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