Opera 9.5 Beta 2 adds neat URL look-up

A look at the latest update to Opera's next browser release, code-named Kestral, reveals a feature that makes hunting for past Web addresses much easier.

Opera 9.5 Beta 2 now available

If you can't remember the URL of a site you've once visited, what do you do? You can either scour your history, willing the evasive address to remain listed, or you can search in Google by the keywords you remember and hope the site you want floats near the top of the results.

The latest version of Opera Software's 9.5 Beta browser, released Thursday for Windows, Mac, and Linux, makes fishing for past Web addresses much easier with a new feature called Quick Find.

Can't remember a URL? The Quick Find feature pulls up suggestions based on keyword. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Quick Find essentially bundles the keyword search directly into the Opera browser's address field. Typing in a few keywords produces a list of URLs from your past. Simply clicking the selection opens the Web page. I tested it out, and so far it works as advertised--as a fast, useful time-saver that gives your brain license to forget specific URLs.

Those familiar with Opera Mini will recognize Quick Find as the sister to the "find in page" feature in Opera Mini 4.1.

There are other updates to the beta build, but Quick Find remains the only new feature that users will engage with directly. The official Opera announcement also unveils faster e-mail rendering for its built-in client, support for EV (extended validation) SSL certificates, and more complete antiphishing protection thanks to collaboration with PhishTank and NetCraft's databases.

Then there's the unofficial announcement, leaked by Huib Kleinhout, Opera's desktop team manager, on Opera's blog. Through Opera Link, users will soon be able to synchronize notes in real time between Opera browsers for desktops, mobile phones, and devices.

That feature is in development, an Opera representative contact confirmed, and has not been released in this morning's build. For now, Opera Link behaves as it has been, populating each Opera browser you use (desktop, cell phone, Wii) with bookmarks added from any other.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.