Opera 9.6 focuses on neglected features

The latest version of the Norwegian alternative browser includes improvements to e-mail management, RSS feeds, and synchronization.

UPDATED: Corrected Opera's country of origin.

E-mail and RSS feed improvements top the list of changes for Opera 9.60, moved out of beta today for Windows and Mac. As noted when the 9.60 beta came out last month, this version of the free browser offers up a multifaceted ''low-bandwidth mode'' for Opera Mail and tweaks to the RSS reader.

Updates to Opera Link let users synchronize even more settings. (Credit: Opera)

The feed preview rolls into Opera's RSS management a standalone RSS app feature so that users can preview feeds before subscribing to them. The low bandwidth option for Opera Mail, also called M2, does different things for different kinds of accounts. Accessible under the Mail option on the Menubar, POP users will see messages truncated to the first 100 lines of a message, while IMAP users will find that it restricts downloads only to new messages. Both strip out attachment downloads unless otherwise specified.

Both accounts will also benefit from the new Follow/Ignore option. Ignore sets a contact's e-mail to never download, and Follow does the opposite, always downloading messages from a specific contact. Ignored contacts' messages are not deleted, just left on your server. Users are expected to manage their own account size limits, though.

Further improvements have also been made to Opera Link, the browser's synchronization service. It now supports synchronizing typed history and custom search engine preferences. This means that if you've typed something into the search or location bar, you can now sync it to any computer that you're using.

The full changelog can be read here.