File Under: Browsers

Opera 12.10 Readies for the High-Resolution Future

Opera 12.10 supports Mac OS X’s built-in social networking tools. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

Opera has released a new beta version of its flagship desktop web browser with quite a few goodies for both web developers and anyone using Apple’s latest Retina Macbook Pros.

To grab a copy of Opera 12.10 beta for Windows, Mac or Linux, head on over to the Opera Next download page.

This is the first Opera release to support Apple’s high-res display and Opera 12.10 is well worth the update — even as a beta release — if you’ve got one of the new Retina MacBook Pros. The beta also taps into some of the new features in OS X Mountain Lion, including support for the new Notification Center and the built-in content sharing through any social network accounts you’ve set up.

Among the other standout features in this release are the new web standards APIs Opera now supports, including the Context Menu API, the Fullscreen API and the Page Visibility API. All three APIs give web developers more control over how things look, but the Page Visibility API might be the most useful since it allows you to reduce the amount of resources your page uses when it’s in the background.

With Opera on board, the Page Visibility API now works in all desktop browsers (though not in most mobile browsers). If you’d like to learn more the Mozilla developer network has a good tutorial on Page Visibility.

Opera 12.10 now supports the latest Web Sockets implementation, which fixes the security flaws that previously forced Opera to remove Web Sockets support. The 12.10 beta turns Web Sockets back on by default. Another web standards improvement in Opera 12.10 is support for more “unprefixed” CSS rules, including transitions, transforms, gradients, and animations, all of which will now work without the -o- prefix.

As we noted back when it was was part of an Opera Labs release, the new 12.10 beta supports the SPDY network standard, which promises to be even faster than the HTTP protocol, though thus far few websites are using it. With this release SPDY is on by default and will work anywhere SPDY is used, notably at the two biggest SPDY-using websites — Gmail and Twitter.