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Old 12. Jan 2017, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Opera Neon - Concept Browser

Say hello to Opera Neon, our new concept browser;

http://www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2...ncept-browser/

Browser download page;

https://www.opera.com/computer/neon

A new browser from Opera. As stated, it's a concept browser for people to try out and play around with.

I've downloaded and installed it. It's different, I'll give them that. First, brief, impression ... way cool

Last edited by deya; 12. Jan 2017 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 13. Jan 2017, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Been using this for a few hours now and, as concept browser's go, it's pretty good. It hasn't crashed once, it runs very well and is not much different to others as far as resource use goes except it uses slightly more CPU at times - video etc.

No offline installer so that will put some users off of trying it but it installed no problem, it's 275 MB when installed - the installer taking up 138 MB of that.

Once you launch it you see it uses your desktop wallpaper as the theme, which I like the idea of, and the speed dial uses floating bubble icons for your favourite sites. There are no bookmarks, at all, just the bubble icons on the speed dial page which you can delete or add new ones to suit.

There is no support for extensions/addons, no adblocker, no VPN. There are the usual settings, as per Chrome/Blink browsers. You have four search engines - Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves but the browser has allowed me to add Yandex and set it as my default search ... wouldn't do it with DDG or Ixquick but I use Yandex anyway so am fine with that.

Nothing really new in the side bar that some other browsers don't have - screen shot, downloads etc. but they work very well, as does the video/music player. Split screen also works very well, although again it's nothing new because other browsers have this function.

There are no tabs, instead, each site you open creates a bubble icon down the right hand side of browser. You click on them to navigate between the various site windows/tabs. It's very effective. You close them by hovering over the bubble and then clicking the x. If you want to save a site to the speed dial you just drag and drop the bubble into the centre of the screen.

Neon is a concept browser, that's all, no more, no less. Maybe they'll update it and add more features, I'm not sure. Opera say that perhaps some of the features of this browser could be introduced to Opera Stable in the future. There have been other concept browsers, Maxthon Nitro and Yandex spring to mind, and they're interesting to try, if you like trying this kind of stuff. As far as looks go, UI etc, Opera Neon is the best one I've tried so far. It's experimental but it's very stable in use. It's maybe not the future but it could well be - who knows?

I'll keep it installed and continue to use it, mainly because I really like it but also to see if there are further developments in the future. I hope there are.

No adblocking or the option to add one is a bit of an issue, for me at least, when using some sites. Parts of the internet are not pretty places without an adblocker - just awful in fact. So Neon is not a browser I could use heavily on a daily basis. But for general, casual browsing it's very good.

Not for everyone, but for those who like to be a bit adventurous with browsers it's worth a look. It's for Windows and Mac, no Linux version as yet.
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Old 14. Jan 2017, 05:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the Elephant in the Room will be the lack of an Ad Blocker,
that is, more than the lack of any extensions.
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Old 14. Jan 2017, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreed. Would have been good if the built in ad blocker they use in Opera Stable could have been added to Neon. It would have been enough, I'm not too bothered about the lack of extensions.

Seems to have caught a lot of people's interest though, can't recall the last time I saw so many comments on the blog page and most of them are positive. But they say it's a one off, no plans to develop it further, nor to make a Linux version. They seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to advertise it though, and set up a dedicated page on their main site. Maybe the positive feedback will change their way of thinking. It would be great if it did.

The more you use it, get to know it, the more you appreciate the simplicity of the browser. I've managed to work out a few keyboard shortcuts and one or two other things I wasn't sure of. Video pop-out had me scratching my head at first, took a while for the penny to drop for split screen as well. But that's the best thing about stuff like this, and that's what Neon is really all about. Just messing about with it to find out what it can do.

I'm even beginning to realise that ads on some sites aren't too bad after all, this site included. But on others it's just too much, they go way over the top with them and I can't be doing with it.

I've tried all sorts with it but it still hasn't crashed once. Managed to get DDG added to the search engines and set as default search if required. Installed it on my lappy as well and it works well with the touch screen.

Accepting Neon for what it is, surprisingly, I don't miss bookmarks either. Like, say for example, with Opera I have many bookmarks saved but never use them. You just click and save stuff, bookmark it, but most of them I never go back to. You save stuff just in case - but what for? It's like some kind of strange hoarding behaviour, with me at least, and I'm sure with many others. All these folders full of stuff I never look at. For work fair enough, but for just browsing?

So with Neon you only save sites you visit regularly, add them as bubbles on the speed dial, and they arrange themselves in order of most used. Less clutter. I think that's the idea behind it anyway.
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Old 16. Jan 2017, 02:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It looks an interesting development that would suit many people like my wife. She uses a small range of web sites at any one time so the bubble metaphor would suit her.

I use many websites with very specific technical purposes so I want a structured catalogue of bookmarks which is why I won't be using it except for weekend/holiday browsing..
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Old 16. Jan 2017, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sure that's what it's aimed at, casual browsing for people who don't generally store lots of bookmarks and want quick access to the few favourite sites they visit. It's clean, quick and easy to get to grips with. No fuss. Loads very quickly and off you go.

I managed to find an offline installer for Neon, I won't link to it but I have downloaded it to keep just in case. Scanned it with VirusTotal and it's clean. If anyone's interested look at AskVG and you'll find it.

Also realised that if you take a screen snap of a site, the site logo or whatever, and then open the snapped image it not only shows the saved image but also the site URL. So you can save the images in the side bar and they act as bookmarks, you can arrange the images to suit. Not perfect as far as saving bookmarks goes, but it works if you don't want lots of bubbles all over the speed dial.

F11 gives you full screen, and if you have a few sites open then pressing Control + Tabs on the keyboard allows you to scroll through the open pages. Control + T minimises the tab to the side bar and Control + W closes the tab you're viewing altogether.

I don't know what they'll make of the feedback, it being only a concept, but there's over 600 comments on their blog page last I looked and many have already set it as their default browser?

Not sure that a lot of them understand the concept part, or maybe they do and are trying to get Opera to do more with Neon and have future updates. Up to press, Opera have said no. Wait and see I suppose.
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