Opera has announced that users of its mobile and desktop apps can now buy cryptocurrency through the browser using Apple Pay.
Opera was the first browser to include a built-in crypto wallet across its iOS and Mac browsers, and was one of the first to protect users against disguised online cryptocurrency mining, or "cryptojacking."
In partnership with Wyre, a US cryptocurrency-brokerage firm, the Norwegian company is now letting Opera users in the U.S. purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using a debit card or Apple Pay.
Charles Hamel, head of crypto at Opera browsers, explained how this integration supports Opera's long-term vision of making blockchain technology relevant beyond speculation:
"Allowing our users to easily load cryptocurrency into their browser's digital wallet is very powerful, as it connects the Web to a global internet-native payment network.
"In the past, obtaining cryptocurrencies was a cumbersome process that took hours or even days. When you compare it with this seamless solution, which takes less than 30 seconds, it really is a gamechanger," added Hamel.
Easy crypto top ups are available in iOS browser Opera Touch as well as in the crypto wallet available in its desktop browser. As for users outside the U.S., Opera says it plans to introduce a similar crypto-purchasing feature to more countries "very soon."
Opera today released Opera GX, a special version of its Opera browser that it says has been built to "complement gaming" on Mac.
Opera GX features several features designed to help users get the most out of gaming and browsing, the most prominent being GX Control, which lets users set limits on the browser's system resource usage.
Opera says a survey it conducted revealed that lack of memory and network limitations are the two main issues for gamers, which is why it came up with the idea of limiter controls for CPU, RAM, and network bandwidth.
Opera GX offers a unique set of features that provides solutions to these problems. The set of browser limiters, which includes a Network Bandwidth Limiter, as well as CPU and RAM Limiters, prevents the browser from becoming resource-hungry. What this means in practice is that everyone's machines are left with more resources for running games.
The browser includes other features aimed at making gamers happy, including Twitch accessible from the sidebar, picture in picture for watching streams, integrated messenger services, an ad blocker, free VPN, and several custom theme options.
The macOS version of Opera's gaming browser is now available for download in early access mode. Interested users can grab it now from Opera's website.
Just under two years after launching on the iOS App Store, Opera this week announced that its free "Opera VPN" app will be permanently discontinued as of April 30, 2018. Opera's virtual private network app masks the user's true IP address and allows them to bypass firewalls, block tracking cookies, change their virtual location to unlock geo-specific content, and more.
At the end of April, the app will be shuttered on both the iOS and Android App Stores, but the company noted that it aims to "make sure your privacy is still looked after" following Opera VPN's discontinuation. This mainly refers to users who were paying for Opera Gold on mobile, which introduced a Tracker Blocker, 10 additional regions, increased speeds, and dedicated customer support for $29.99/year.
These subscribers will have the option to redeem a free one year subscription to SurfEasy's Ultra VPN and migrate all of their data from Opera to SurfEasy, a company that Opera acquired in 2016. Even those who don't have an Opera Gold plan will have the chance to obtain an 80 percent discount on SurfEasy's entry level Total VPN tier. In terms of pricing, SurfEasy's Ultra plan is currently priced at $6.49/month and the Total plan is $3.99/month.
This is a free upgrade for Opera Gold users, as SurfEasy Ultra offers unlimited usage on up to five devices, access to 28 regions and a strict no-log policy. SurfEasy is also available on more platforms, currently supporting Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Amazon devices. Users will be able to enjoy world-class customer support, too. Opera Gold users will be able to migrate within the latest version of the Opera VPN iOS app.
In regards to the closure, Opera said: "All of us here at Opera VPN (including Olaf) are sincerely grateful for all your support over the last couple of years, and we're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause." Opera will still have its main web browser available for Mac users, including a built-in ad blocker and VPN.
Vivaldi web browser, the spiritual successor to Opera 12, released version 1.13 on Wednesday, introducing an easier way of managing multiple tabs, as well as new file download features and other improvements.
In line with the Norwegian team's aim to make Vivaldi the most feature-rich and customizable browser available to power users, the developers have created the new Window Panel. This opens a tree-style view of tabs to the side of the browser window, offering an easy overview of all open tabs as a list.
From there, users can conveniently manage tabs by dragging them to change their order, grouping tabs by topic to save space, tiling Tab Stacks to compare several web pages side by side, and hibernating unused tabs or Tab Stacks for better performance.
Within the new Panel, it's also possible to mute sound in specific tabs and pin tabs to ensure they always stay open. The Vivaldi team says it is planning to bring even more functionality to this feature in the near future.
The latest release of the Vivaldi browser also brings a number of improvements to file downloading, based on community feedback. Users now get a warning dialog when closing the browser before a download is complete. It's also now possible to pause and resume downloads, while a download speed indicator has been added to the progress bar.
Elsewhere, Vivaldi's window handling code has been rewritten, providing performance benefits that are especially noticeable on older, slower hardware.
Vivaldi browser is a free download for Mac available directly from the Vivaldi website.