Opera Next isn't Opera... yet?

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Back in Februrary, when Opera announced that they were going to start transitioning to WebKit, I assumed that this would allow them to heavily focus on being the web browser innovators they've always been. This was not very evident in their first WebKit-powered release. Below is a list of things I have found (in no particular order) that exist in Opera 12 but do not exist in Opera 15 (Opera Next). Note, that some of these features pre-date the release of the Presto engine:

  • Tab Stacking. Creating a folder if you will, of tabs that stacked on top of each other for better tab management, a feature I personally used very frequently. This was one of the biggest advertised features of Opera 11.
  • Mouse Gestures. Back in 2001, with version 5.1 and every version since, we've been using mouse gestures as part of our web browsing experience. In Version 11 mouse gestures were updated with Visual Mouse Gestures. In Opera Next, they are no where to be found.
  • Private Tabs. Just like Chrome, there are no Private Tabs, only Private Windows.
  • Integrated E-mail Client. Version 4.0 was launched with an integrated E-mail client back in 2000, one of the most popular reasons why users used Opera. There is a separate Opera Mail application that was released along-side Opera Next, I have not downloaded or installed it.
  • Integrated IRC Client. The integrated IRC client came around in 2004, in version 7.5.
  • Integrated RSS Reader. A great feature that got me using RSS feeds.
  • Integrated Torrent Client. First introduced in 2009, and no mention of it in Opera Next.
  • Tab Preview. Preview a webpage loaded on a tab by hovering your cursor over that tab. If you increased the size of the tabs bar vertically the previews would always be shown as well.
  • Opera Wand. By far the best password and form manager built-in to any web browser. I believe this came out in Opera 9.x. Opera Next's Password Manager is no Opera Wand, that's for sure.
  • Opera Link. Another 9.x feature, synchronizing bookmarks, Speed Dial, notes, custom search engines, typed history, content blocker access, and of course, passwords since 2008. You can however log in to their web portal to see your bookmarks.
  • DragonFly. Replaced with the WebKit Inspector.
  • Editing Source. No longer able to View Source, edit the page, and apply the changes to the site all within the web browser. Although they have partially hacked this functionality into the WebKit Inspector with the "Edit as HTML" option.
  • Closed Tabs. Accidentally close a tab? Just like most other Windows applications, Ctrl + Z will undo that close and bring that tab right back up. Not any more, but you can now right click on the tab bar, and click "Reopen last closed Tab".
  • Editing Cookie Data. Does not seem possible. 

I'm sure there are many more little details and maybe even big ones that I have missed, but details matter, and that's what separates Opera from the bunch, and us from the chimpanzees. Currently, describing Opera Next as a weird version of Chrome wouldn't be too far from the truth.

Alright, that may have been too harsh. Perhaps I was far too optimistic, assuming that the functionality Opera had been building into their browser for years would easily transition into the WebKit based versions of Opera. This list has really made me realize how many Opera-specific features I had been using and relying on for so long. Though the Opera team has made it clear they are not likely bringing back the integrated E-mail client, there are quite a few features I hope they do bring.

Well, it's back to good old Opera 12 until some more features get translated over to the WebKit-powered version. For now though, Opera Next gets removed as my default browser as I and millions of other Opera faithfuls eagerly await the next versions of Next.

For those of you who have tried Opera Next, what features do you miss the most?

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