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article imageOpera unveils its new 'reborn' browser design

By James Walker     Feb 21, 2017 in Technology
Opera is redesigning its browser with a new interface that's meant to be modern and fresh. Under construction as "Project Reborn," the company recently shipped the first version of the experimental design to testers, introducing a new browsing experience.
According to Opera, Project Reborn is aiming to create a new high-quality look for the browser that is more cohesive across platforms. The current production release of Opera has subtle inconsistencies in its layout depending on whether it's running on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Project Reborn is an extensive reworking of Opera's design. The company has updated every part of the interface to focus on simplicity and elegance. Core regions of the browser window, including the tab strip and sidebar, have been overhauled to fit with the new theme.
Previously confined to the Speed Dial screen, the sidebar is now pinned to the left of the main browser window. It lets you access Opera's primary tools, including Favourites, History, Speed Dial and Settings, wherever you are, using a single mouse click. The sidebar can be customised to suit your preferences, letting you take control of what it displays.
Opera Project Reborn
Opera Project Reborn
The new sidebar is also capable of integrating with third-party services. Developers will be able to create extensions that hook into the pane, giving you one-click access to "side tabs." Currently, only Facebook Messenger supports this, letting you pin the app to the sidebar and respond to conversations without switching tabs. Opera said it plans to launch more social integrations in the future.
Besides the layout improvements, Reborn places a greater emphasis on personalisation and customisability. Opera has long featured a robust theme system which lets you change the style of its interface. The browser will now come with two colour options out of the box though, letting you choose to use a dark design without having to install a theme.
Finally, as part of its work to simplify the browser, Opera has overhauled its installer. The online installer now downloads and configures Opera without requiring any mouse clicks. Rival Google Chrome already offers this functionality, letting you sit back once you've clicked the website's download button.
"Lighter and more elegant"
Opera Project Reborn
Opera Project Reborn
Project Reborn is the most significant redesign of Opera's interface for several years. With a refined look and new subtle animations spread across the interface, Opera is clearly trying to attract people looking for a good-looking browser that's simple to setup. As all the features work on every supported platform, Opera windows will be more cohesive and identifiable across systems.
"Opera's entire design has been updated with a new, high-quality graphical design that is less platform-specific," said Opera. "The tabs are simplified, lighter and more elegant, making it easier to locate open tabs. The new sidebar is more subtle and refined, with a touch of animation. Speed Dial has also been given a fresh look with smooth animations."
People comfortable with using pre-release software can download Reborn from Opera's website today. The current version is still early in development and may be unstable. The new interface will make its way to all Opera users over the course of the next few months.
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