Opera recently released version 9.2 of its desktop browser with a number of new features including “Speed Dial,” a quick way to access sites you frequently visit, and a new set of developer tools for web designers and programmers.
Speed Dial takes its cue from the fact that most people have a few sites they visit quite regularly. To make it easier to get to those sites quickly, Speed Dial uses visual bookmarks which show links to your top nine sites — each time you open a new tab, Speed Dial presents a thumbnail preview of your nine sites. (screenshots after the jump)
Speed Dial is also accessible through keyboard shortcuts (ctrl 0-9 on Windows, Apple-key 0-9 on the Mac).
But perhaps the most interesting way to access speed dial is by directly typing the number of the site in the address bar. For instance, if GMail is set at number one in your speed dial, just open a new tab, type “1” and you’re there — very nice of keyboard junkies.
Both the developer tools and Speed Dial have been available for a while in beta versions of Opera.
Other new features for version 9.2 include:
- Thumbnails on hover in the Windows panel
- Support for address bar searches — a la Firefox.
- Support for animated GIF images in Opera themes.
- YouTube movies viewed in fullscreen mode now work properly
- Start bar is now disabled by default
With so many versions of Opera popping up (Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Opera for the Wii, etc) it’s nice to know the Opera developers haven’t forgotten the desktop browser. And, as with previous releases, Opera 9.2 is one of the fastest browsers around — especially on older machines where its relatively light memory footprint gives it the edge over RAM hogs like Firefox 2.