Opera browser updates with improved video support, newsreader, more

Laurent Giret

Opera has released this week Opera 39, the latest version of its desktop web browser for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. After the company introduced a battery saver mode just two months ago, the new versions brings some improvements to the browser’s built-in ad blocker which now gets a customizable block list, but there are several new features as well.

The most interesting feature in this release may be “Video pop out”, which the team describes as the ability to “easily detach and move a video over to the side of your screen, so that you can continue watching while you work, play or do research.” While it won’t work with all video sources, it should work well with popular video services such as YouTube and Vimeo. You can see how it works in the video below, and it’s also possible to disable the feature if you don’t need it.

Next, Opera 39 brings a personalized news reader that you will be able to access from the newspaper icon on the left of the browser’s start page. The tool can be customized with your favorite sources from different regions and languages, and you can also choose how to display articles excerpts and images. Additionally, the news reader offers an ad-free experience.

The built-in news reader in Opera 39.
The built-in news reader in Opera 39.

Among the other new features in this release, Opera mentions an improved search pop up which appears when you select text and makes copying or searching from the browser easier (it can also be turned off in the settings). The browser’s Blink memory manager also now benefits from “heap compaction”, a new feature which “reduces memory usage by several megabytes per tab.”

Lastly, the team is also working on a built-in, free and unlimited VPN which you can already try by installing the beta version of the web browser. “It’s very important for us to polish this option and make sure we detect and address any severe issues before it goes stable,” explained the team. Overall, Opera 39 appears as a solid new release and all these new features will likely please those of you who use Opera as their browser of choice. Let us know in the comments if you think the browser stays competitive against Firefox, Chrome or the much improved Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.