The latest edition of the Opera
browser, Opera 21, is now available for Windows
. Chief among the many changes, tweaks, and updates is hardware acceleration via Aura technology.
Aura “allows us to hardware-accelerate the entire browser, including the user interface,” wrote the Opera Desktop team in a blog post
. Aura acceleration promises smoother and more responsive animations.
The Opera folks spent a great deal of effort simply making Aura work correctly with the browser, and as such they say they’ve just scratched the surface of what the technology can do. Interestingly, they didn’t use Aura on the Mac version of Opera 21, instead leveraging Apple Core Animation technology to achieve the same effect.
Aside from the above, there aren’t many notable updates. The full changelog
includes hundreds of entries, but Opera called out a few. For instance, you can now change a setting that allows you to see an entire URL instead of a foreshortened version, which some power users really need.
Opera 21 has also been updated with Chromium 34.0.1847.132 for better site compatibility; it scales with displays that use 200% DPI scaling so font sizes are correct; the Mac keyboard handling has been tweaked to better suit web apps; and you can see when Off-Road mode is enabled.