Opera software has pushed out the final version of Opera 11.10, an upgrade to the company’s flagship desktop Web browser. Opera 11.10 brings a significant speed bump to Opera’s Turbo browsing mode, new Speed Dial features, and some more HTML5 support.
You can download Opera 11.10 for Mac, Windows, and Linux from the Opera website.
Opera’s Turbo mode has been around for several years now and allows you to download sites faster over slow connections. Turbo works by proxying your connection through Opera’s servers and compressing websites before you download them. The latest version compresses sites even more, making it up to four times faster than previous Turbo releases, and 15 percent faster than Opera without Turbo, according to the company.
Turbo’s new compression tricks now take advantage of Google’s WebP image format to shrink photos and graphics before you download. WebP is Google’s effort to improve on JPG, making images smaller without degrading the image quality. Thus far only Opera and Chrome support the WebP image format.
WebP does an impressive job of making images smaller in Turbo, though in my testing there were still some compression artifacts visible, particularly with larger images. Still, for those times you find yourself with a slow Internet connection, Turbo makes Opera significantly faster than the competition, and that alone makes Opera worth having around, even if it’s not your primary Web browser.
The other big news in this release are the changes to Speed Dial, which shows frequently visited site thumbnails in the new window or new tab view. Several other browsers have since copied Opera’s Speed Dial, but Opera keeps tweaking it with new features. Speed Dial in Opera 11.10 is more customizable and allows you to set how many thumbnails you’d like to see.
Opera has long been a leader in Web standards support and the latest release continues that transition adding partial support for the HTML5 File API. Unfortunately, the “partial” File API support does not extend to the drag and drop file uploading used by some websites (notably Gmail).
Other new features in Opera 11.10 include automatic updates for plugins like Adobe Flash, and some IMAP improvements for Opera’s built-in mail client. For a complete list of everything that’s new in Opera 11.10, check out the full change log.