opera

Opera's overhauled Android browser now in beta

The first results of Opera's WebKit brain transplant are now available for people to try: a beta version of Opera for Android.

The new version uses Android-native user-interface elements but preserves many Opera features such as Speed Dial. It gets some new features, too, such as Off-road Mode to enable a proxy-browsing technology designed for slow network connections and the Discovery tool for people who want to browse content tailored to their interests.

The Oslo, Norway-based company announced in February that it's scrapped its own Presto engine, except in its TV browser product line, in favor of the … Read more

Apple's Safari challenged by rival mobile browsers

Apple's Safari is still by far the dominant mobile browser, though its competition is eating away at some of its popularity.

Safari grabbed 55.4 percent of all mobile-browser traffic captured by Web tracker Net Applications in February. That proved a hefty drop from January's 61 percent share and last July's 66 percent share.

At the same time, the stock Android browser, which is found on older Android devices, chewed up 22.8 percent of the mobile browser traffic last month. Though its numbers were higher last October and November, the Android browser has sliced off an … Read more

Opera overhaul: WebKit-based Android browser due Q2

BARCELONA, Spain--Opera Software has dropped the new engine into its browser and now has begun revving it up.

At the Mobile World Congress show here, the company began showing for the first time its new WebKit-based version of Opera for Android. That browser is the first product from a completely overhauled product line and technology strategy for the company based in Oslo, Norway.

Opera is changing the browser engine at the core of its software, dumping its own Presto for the open-source WebKit used in Chrome and Safari. It's a radical change in many ways: many engineers are changing … Read more

Opera cuts staff in WebKit-related restructuring

Retooling its browser with the WebKit engine isn't the only big change at Opera Software. The Norwegian company also cut its staff significantly in the last quarter of 2012.

According to the company's fourth-quarter financial results (PDF), the company had 777 employees at the end of 2011 and 931 at the end of 2012. But that figure includes 91 "employees associated with the organizational restructuring."

Moving to WebKit and dropping its in-house Presto browser engine. means Opera is cooperating with Google, Apple, and others using the open-source WebKit software, and that means the company could get … Read more

Opera buying Skyfire for mobile-video technology

Opera Software is acquiring Skyfire Labs and its technology for squeezing video onto congested mobile-phone networks in a deal worth up to $155 million, the Norwegian browser maker said tonight.

Opera, the fifth-ranked browser maker in terms of global usage, gets paid for adapting its browser for mobile network operators and for driving searches to sites like Yandex and Google. It's been gradually expanding its business into domains such as advertising, though, and the Skyfire deal adds a new dimension to its business selling technology to operators.

"Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots," said … Read more

What is the 'Soap Opera Effect'?

Do movies look weird on your new TV? Does everything have a hyper-real, ultra-smooth motion to it? Are you sure something is happening with the TV's image you don't like, but you can't figure out what?

Chances are, what you're seeing is called the "Soap Opera Effect," as descriptive a moniker as we get in tech, in that this feature makes everything on your TV look like a cheap soap opera.

Here's what it is, what it does, and how to turn it off.… Read more

JavaScript expert: WebKit, get your bug-ridden house in order

It was a good day for the WebKit browser engine yesterday when Opera Software adopted it in place of its in-house Presto. But yesterday's developments also became an opportunity for a high-profile JavaScript programmer to lodge criticisms about WebKit.

"Each release of Chrome or Safari generates excitement about new bleeding-edge features; nobody seems to worry about the stuff that's already (still!) broken," complained Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery foundation and a member of the core programming team that builds the widely used Web programming tool, in a blog post.

"jQuery Core has more lines … Read more

Web world bemoans loss of Opera independence

It might have been a smart strategic move for Opera Software to move to the WebKit browser engine and scrap its own Presto, but some think it's a step backward for the development of the Web overall.

"A switch to Webkit might benefit Opera. It's just not going to benefit the open Web," Mozilla's Robert O'Callahan said today in comments on his blog about Opera's Presto change-o. "This will strengthen the WebKit mobile monoculture and make it even harder for us to promote Web standards over 'coding to Webkit.'"

Browser engines … Read more

Opera embraces WebKit in browser brain transplant

Opera Software, an independent voice in the browser market since the 1990s, will dramatically change its strategy this year by adopting the WebKit browser engine used by Safari and Chrome.

The Norwegian company announced the move today and said it will show off the first fruits of the work with a WebKit-based version of its Android browser at the Mobile World Congress show in less than two weeks. But the company will move to WebKit for its desktop browser, too.

A browser engine processes the Web page instructions written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS then renders the results on screens. … Read more

How we test Web browsers

The Web browser is the most-used kind of software in the world, having become the de facto way that people access the Internet. Today, virtually all computing tasks can be completed in the browser.

Testing browsers can veer from incredibly complex to shockingly simple, depending on what you're looking for and why. At CNET, we prefer a holistic approach to browser benchmarking, looking at a combination of tests that benchmark general browser behavior, as well as several "real-world" tests that look at browser performance in common scenarios.

Note about mobile testing: We are still finalizing our standards … Read more