When Opera’s desktop browser moved to Google’s Blink rendering engine last year, it also dropped a number of features, including bookmark syncing and its bookmarks bar. The company brought back syncing after a short while and with today’s launch of Opera 19, it is also finally bringing back the bookmarks bar.
What the browser is still missing, though, is a regular bookmarks menu. #facepalm
Unsurprisingly, Opera’s user base was anything but happy when the bookmarks menu and bookmarks bar suddenly disappeared. Opera argued that its switch to the new engine also meant building a new native user interface, so it only launched with a basic set of tools. Given that early versions of Opera featured everything from multi-pane browsing to sidebar tabs and lots of other goodies, the new version came as quite a shock to Opera’s small but dedicated user base.
Over the last few versions, the team has been adding new features again, though given that the company seems to be de-emphasizing the desktop browser, it remains to be seen if it will ever get back to being as feature-rich as it used to be.
With this update, Opera is also adding support for more extensions. In total, the Opera extensions gallery now features over 700 plug-ins.
The only other new feature in this update is the ability to turn any image into a browser wallpaper for your theme.
Opera was always a very capable browser, but it stood out from the competition because it offered so many built-in features. At some point, it even included a built-in web server, though nobody ever figured out what to do with that. Now, it’s a very stripped-down version of its former self and it remains to be seen if that will help it gain new users in the long run.