Opera is rolling out another update to its desktop browser in a fresh bid to take on the more popular rivals such as Chrome and Firefox. With a market share of 1.23% Opera is way behind Chrome’s 59.84% and Firefox’s 13.4%, as per internet analyst Netmarketshare.

Dubbed as version 49, the update improves upon some of the existing features and brings in some elements that Opera has been experimenting with in its concept browser, Opera Neon, for a while. Here are some of the notable new additions to Opera browser.

Adds VR support

Opera browser now supports 360-degree videos in VR (virtual reality) headsets. This means anyone with an OpenVR compatible headset such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift can now watch 360-degree videos on YouTube or Facebook directly on the browser.

Earlier, PC users had to download the videos and then run them in a separate video player. Opera has partnered with 360 Labs, a video production company specializing in 360-degree videos, so users have enough VR content to watch. PC users can access VR videos in Firefox and Microsoft Edge browser as well.

Capture screenshot with selfie

Opera users can now take a screenshot of a webpage, add their own selfie and edit it right on the browser using the new Snapshot tool.

One can access it on the sidebar by clicking on the camera icon or by pressing the shortcut keys on Windows.

Users can also adjust the size of the frame or capture the entire screen. Once all the editing is over one can save the final image in PNG format. The idea behind Snapshot is to allow users to share more than just links on social media. So they can tell through screenshots and selfies what they think about a story, movie or photo on the web.

Rival browsers do not have any such feature built into them. But users can always take a screenshot of the PC, take a selfie using a webcam and put them together in a photo editing software. Opera browser makes it a lot easier and faster.

Easy to setup

Opera has redesigned the Customise Start page option and is now calling it Easy Setup. It is an all-in-one panel, which allows first-time users to customise their browser right from the start. Here users can enable the ad blocker, configure location for their downloaded files, apply wallpaper, pin/unpin the sidebar, ask for speed dial suggestions, manage browsing history and import bookmarks and data from other browsers.

Looks good and runs faster

Opera claims it has made under-the-hood changes to make the browser run smoothly on high-DPI monitors, which have higher pixel density compared to standard monitors. It has also tweaked browser elements such as icons, tabs, buttons and pop-ups. They will look sharper than before on higher resolution monitors and TV screens.

Improved Private mode

The Private mode, which is the equivalent of the Incognito mode in Chrome browser, has been refined. The dark background colour in Private mode clashed with the lighter shade of the other tabs. Opera has decided to replace it with a lighter theme and darker URL bar so it will put less stress on eyes, while the latter will mask the name of the website better.

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