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Opera 11.50 debuts with Speed Dial extensions

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Opera has officially released a new version of its desktop browser – Opera 11.50 – adding widget-like "extensions" to the familiar Speed Dial page that appears each time you open a new tab.

Previously, Speed Dial only offered thumbnails that linked you to oft-visited sites. But with Opera 11.50 – announced in the early Norwegian hours on Tuesday – you can also install extensions that provide real-time access to content directly from the page. "These are basically like small front-ends to websites," Jan Standal, Opera's vice president of Desktop Products, tells The Register. An extension might provide weather updates or the latest news headlines.

Expanding on the company's Opera Link service, Opera 11.50 also lets you synchronize your web passwords across Opera browsers running on multiple devices. Similar to Firefox Sync, Opera Link already synchronizes bookmarks, Speed Dial settings, search engine preferences, notes, and browser history.

Opera Speed Dial extensions

Both Speed Dial extensions and password-syncing were available with the 11.50 beta. But since the release of the beta, Standal says, Opera has worked to streamline the browser's design. "Users wanted the browser to feel even faster and more simple," he explains. "It's a more minimalistic design."

What's more, Opera has upgraded the browser's core rendering engine and tweaked its graphics engine with faster CSS and SVG rendering. But according to Standal, the new version does not include WebGL support, which is still limited to the developer version of the browser.

Opera 11.50 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can download it here. ®

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