Opera launches Neon 'concept browser'

January 13, 2017 // 10:54 a.m.

Tags: #browser #krystian-kolondra #opera #opera-neon #web-browser

Browser bit-player Opera has announced the public availability of Opera Neon, described by the company as a 'concept browser' which offers 'a glimpse into the future'.

Developed alongside the company's mainstream web browser, Opera Neon represents what Opera's Krystian Kolondra believes is the future of browsing. 'We put together a team of talented developers and designers to work on a unique prototype browser. We created thousands of concepts, drawings, iterations, versions and interface designs,' he explained in the browser's launch announcement. 'Today, we can finally show you Opera Neon. It is a concept browser – an experimental browser that envisions the future of web browsers similar to the way concept cars predict the future of automobiles. Like the Opera browser, Opera Neon is built on top of the Blink engine, but unlike any other browser, Opera Neon has been built from scratch to bring you cool effects and animations without slowing down your experience.'

While Opera's focus on 'cool effects and animations' are one of the most obvious changes for Neon, there are functionality modifications too: The browser includes a vertical icon-based tab bar rather than the more traditional text-heavy horizontal one, the sidebar includes video player, image gallery, and download manager functionality, the start page has been refreshed, and tabs are ordered by how frequently they are accessed.

Other changes in Opera Neon include a pop-out mode for videos that allows them to play even as you browse other pages, an in-built 'snapshot' function for selecting areas of a webpage to screenshot, and a single-window split-screen mode. Some functionality, though, is lost compared to mainstream Opera: There's no built-in VPN or ad blocker, for a start, and extensions are not currently supported.

'Opera Neon is a concept browser – a vision of what browsers could become. It is not designed to replace the current Opera desktop browser,' claimed Kolondra of his team's work. 'However, we do plan to incorporate some of its best new features into Opera for computers as early as spring 2017.'

Opera Neon is available now for Windows and macOS from the official website.
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