Opera 12.10 For Desktop Launches With More Powerful Extensions, SPDY And WebSocket Support, Win 8 And OS X Improvements

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Opera just launched the latest version of its desktop browser. Version 12.10 brings the usual speed and technical improvements to the browser, including support for the SPDY protocol and the WebSocket API. But the company also acknowledges that today’s users “want more relevant content, faster, and preferably without having to check a bunch of websites to get your news, email or other site content.”

To satisfy this need, Opera 12.10 now allows developers to write more powerful extensions. In today’s launch announcement, Opera specifically highlights the new Speed Dial extensions for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StubmleUpon, Readbility, Gmail, Google Calendar and TED.

Also new for developers is support for a number of new APIs, including the Resource Loader API, the Context Menu API for extending the right-click menu and the increasingly popular WebSocket API. Opera now also supports ICC color profiles and color management.

For users, some of the main enhancements are Retina support for Mac, as well as the ability to use OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center and built-in sharing functionality.

Opera on a Retina Display

If you already have a Windows 8 machine with a touch screen, Opera will now also allow you to use pinch-to-zoom in the Windows 8 classic/desktop mode. Earlier this year, Opera said it would look into developing a Metro version of its desktop browser, but the company hasn’t said much about it recently and made no mention of it in today’s announcement.

Opera 12.10 is now available for download for Mac, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD.

Here is Opera’s full list of enhancements:

  • Increased support for Macs! Opera 12.10 now supports features such as Notification Center in the newest version of Mac OS X and support for the Retina Screen in newer Macs. With the new version of Mac OS X, called Mountain Lion, Opera 12.10 uses the built-in sharing functionality to e.g. share a cool site on Twitter or via email.
  • Built-in support for the SPDY protocol to improve and secure connections. Gmail and Twitter have already started using SPDY to supplement the HTTP protocol.
  • The WebSocket API is supported and turned on by default in Opera 12.10. Opera now also supports ICC color profiles and color management.
  • Support for Flexbox and @supports to give website developers more control of how their website appear in the end users’ browsers.
  • Basic touch support for Opera in Windows 8 classic and pinch-to-zoom support in Windows 8.
  • As always, Opera Turbo is your friend in cases of slow network speeds.