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Opera 12 Alpha Build 12.00.1116

Opera Software took the hardware acceleration plunge with the release of its first alpha version of Opera 12, code-named Wahoo, last week. Now we get our hands on an updated Alpha build.

Opera 12 brings along with it some cool new features. Among them:

• The ability to control a computer’s camera. For now, Opera is using the Device API approach, one that not all browser makers favor, but the company didn’t want to wait longer to enable the feature so that Web apps could, for example, snap a profile picture.

• The ability to add Web pages to Opera’s speed dial page directly from the address bar. Speed dial, which shows when people launch a new tab, lets people click on large icons for often-used pages. (As of Opera 11.50, speed dial also enables use of more active icons called speed dial extensions.

• Themes to let people customize the look of Opera, for example by adding graphics behind the speed dial page icons.

• Full support for EcmaScript 5.1, the standards-group project that underlies JavaScript.

• Support for horizontal and vertical antialiasing when displaying fonts with Microsoft’s DirectWrite interface.

Of course, we don’t need to remind you that this is an early preview release. It contains bugs and may be unstable. Use at your own risk! Happy testing!

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