Opera 12 is the latest version of the browser available that used the Presto layout engine. Moving forward all newer versions of Opera rely on the Blink web browser engine developed as part of the Chromium project and thus, the same rendering engine used by Google's Chrome.
Opera now runs plug-ins as a separate process, allowing for more control when a plug-in misbehaves. This feature will enhance security and stability.
64-Bit Mac and Windows versions
The 64-bit version of Opera will offer performance improvements for some functions and allow Opera more freedom in allocating memory.
New, lightweight themes make it easier to customize the browser. Install or change themes at the click of a button, without restarting the browser. The themes gallery can be viewed here.
Address Field Enhancements
Numerous improvements to the address bar have been made:
- Improved address field and address bar drop-down suggestions
- Smart URL shortening in the address field drop-down
- The page title and the page excerpt will be used for full page search results
- URL and page content columns in the address field drop-down have been combined
Experimental Full Hardware Acceleration
Hardware acceleration allows Opera to offload graphics rendering from the processor (CPU) to the graphics card (GPU), making graphics intensive operations such as animations faster.
Right-to-Left (RTL) script support added, language support expanded
RTL support will bring additional stability for certain languages. Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic languages added.
Windows and Tabs API
Extensions will now be able to interact with tabs, create tab groups, and manage windows.
Opera Unite, Opera Widget, and Opera Voice Discontinuation
Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be off by default in Opera 12.00, and will eventually be phased out of the Opera browser in the future. Voice support will be removed as of Opera 12.00, as the voice-detection library is no longer supported by the third-party vendor.
Web Specifications Support
Opera 12.00 will include changes in the Opera Presto 2.10 engine up to core-integration-point 289. WebRTC Initial support for real-time communication has been added. Allowing the source of HTML5 video to be set to the user's webcam.
HTML5 Drag and Drop
Drag and drop enables webpages to have elements that the user can drag from one page to another, or from their desktop to the webpage.
CSS3 Animations and Transitions
Support for animations and transitions has been updated and expanded.
Do Not Track
Added support for the Do Not Track (DNT) HTTP header.
An innovative new set of CSS constructs that allow webpages to be split up into paged media, revolutionizing the Web reading experience.
Cross-Originresourcesharing (CORS) for XMLHTTPREQUEST
CORS enables more secure and flexible communications between websites.
Operating system compatibility: Windows 8 and Mac OSX
We have added basic touch support for Opera in Windows 8 Classic, so you will be able to scroll, zoom and browse pages and elements easily. As an extra bonus, touch support also works on Windows 7. Meanwhile, our Mac users will enjoy using the new capabilities of OSX Mountain Lion with Opera. You are now able to use Mountain Lion's built-in share function, using the new Share button in Opera’s address bar, as well as seeing Opera notifications in the Notifications Center.
As discussed in our blog post about Heartbleed, the standalone autoupdater for Opera 12 on Windows was vulnerable to a Heartbleed attack from someone who would be in possession of a valid Opera certificate. While fixing this, we also found another issue with our autoupdate on Windows which might be exploited by someone in possession of such a certificate. Successful exploitation, which would require using a third, unrelated bug on Windows, could allow a mischievous man in the middle to run arbitrary code on the computer. Opera 12.17 is therefore a recommended security upgrade on Windows. While it is unlikely that someone has gained access to a certificate of ours, we cannot rule out that some foreign intelligence agency has done so, and we want to be on the safe side.
Opera 12 for Windows will update itself automatically. Mac and Linux are not affected, and will not receive a 12.17 update.
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