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Web Browsers


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Current Version: 10.60 (July 1, 2010)

Opera, the browser that has been a favorite of PC users for years, has finally arrived on the Macintosh in recent years. Similar in scope to Mozilla, Opera includes not just a web browser, but an email client and Usenet newsreader as well. Both of these are quite capable, and worth a look if you prefer an all-in-one application to suit the bulk of your Internet communication needs.

Version 10.60 makes the following enhancements from version 10.54:

  • Opera Presto 2.6 rendering engine - Opera 10.60 final contains the Opera Presto 2.6 rendering engine, which improves stability and adds support for the following new Opera features.
  • Geolocation services - User-enabled geolocation services are provided through Google Location Services (GLS).
  • Offline Web Applications - Support is added for Offline Web Applications ( implementing the user interface for caching.
  • Web Workers - Web Workers ( is an API for running scripts in the background independently of any user interface scripts. This allows for long-running scripts that are not interrupted by scripts that respond to clicks or other user interactions, and allows long tasks to be executed without yielding to keep the page responsive.
  • WebM - The WebM format consists of the VP8 video and Vorbis audio codecs wrapped inside a .webm container. It is based on the Matroska media container format, and offers high-quality video with fast seeking.
  • UI improvements - In addition to the visual tweaks you have seen already, such as the Speed Dial facelift, we have also been making further UI enhancements. You will notice that the O menu button now says "Menu" for easy discovery, and instead of hard to read thumbnails for internal tabs, we have replaced them with icons. The tab hover previews have also received a facelift.
  • Carbon-neutral - Following the major rewrite of the Opera Framework for 10.50, which replaced Carbon with Cocoa, we have gone back and removed as much Carbon code as possible. The few things that are left are loaded dynamically, which should improve performance.
  • Also for our Mac users, please note that Java only works if you have installed the very latest Java update on Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6. There is no Java support on Mac OS 10.4.

The online release notes have much more detail about these new features. I would daresay that, as of the 9.0 release, Opera became a browser that is worthy of attention on the Mac once and for all. It's quite stable, capable and customizable, and it renders pages very well - on a par with Safari and Firefox. Its breakthrough feature remains its ability to magnify and reduce pages (graphics and all) to just about any size of your choice, which is a real boon for those with disabilities. Its RSS reader is much more thoroughly developed than that in Safari and Firefox as well.

Opera is entirely free, eschewing the built-in advertising that was once its hallmark. Competition in the browser space is a good thing for Mac users. Let's hope that Opera can shake up the Mac browser world in a big way.

User Reviews

[9.0.1] "I've been using Opera 9.01 for just over an hour and I'm already certain there won't be a second hour of testing. In this short space of time I've found the delete button in the download prefs does nothing (I wanted to delete the application/zip prefs to force Opera to ask for new settings), when I set zip files to be opened after downloading, nothing happens, and Opera corrupted all the zip archives I was downloading from a sound clip site. Camino downloaded them fine. Something else that bugged me, yet wasn't an actual bug - when I went Opera->About Opera to get double-check the program version before posting this review, Opera opened the about page IN PLACE of the MacOrchard submit a review page :-( Not good behavior. Opera also touts itself as the fastest browser ever - not in my testing! Camino and even Shiira are faster loading pages. These bugs and annoyances (and this is just what I've encountered in an hour... I wonder what I'd find if I stuck with Opera longer?) are nothing compared to how un-maclike the UI is. If only because Opera uses non-standard and un-maclike UI elements and practises, I will not continue using this program."
—Jamie Kahn Genet, August 12, 2006

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Related Links

Are you looking for an older version of a browser, but can't seem to find it? The Browser Archive and Darrel Knutson's Macintosh Web Browser Page are the places to visit!

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!