Why it matters: Opera realizes the importance of syncing and sharing between desktop and mobile environments. While Google and Apple carry all the advantage with Chrome and Safari dominating on mobile platforms, Opera Touch and its Flow feature attempts to catch users' attention. If only it had arrived years earlier.
While “one-handed web browsing” might sound like a euphemism for a popular internet-based activity, many phone owners would prefer being able to surf the web without requiring both hands, especially while out and about. Step forward Opera and its new Opera Touch browser.
"We have moved the browser’s key functions within your thumb’s reach," said Opera's product manager, Maciej Kocemba. ”This means that, unlike in most other browsers, you can more easily browse and search the web when on the move."
One of Opera Touch’s design elements is the “Fast Action” button at the bottom of the screen that lets users easily access certain features, such as the tabs. Additionally, the browser opens directly into search with the keyboard activated, ready for you to type in a URL or query. It also supports voice search and comes with Opera’s ad blocker and protection against cryptojacking.
Another feature of the Touch browser is a synchronization tool called Opera Flow. It allows users to share information between the Opera desktop browser—version 52 launched today—and the mobile browser. All you have to do is establish a connection by scanning a QR code from the desktop using Opera Touch. While most mobile browsers have some form of syncing tech, Opera says 69 percent of people don’t use the feature as they take too long to set up, preferring instead to email links to themselves.
Once set up, a “Your Flow” section appears in the browsers, letting users send content straight to the other device. It also comes with end-to-end encryption.
Using Flow does require the use of the Opera desktop browser; it’s unclear how many people would be willing to give up market leader Chrome for the feature.