Some months ago, you wouldn’t have given Opera the time of day. However, the browser seems determined to catch up with generations-worth of improvements in a really short time.
As it gains more traction among users, Opera releases a new update that could make you want to switch browsers: a “low-power mode” that only nibbles at your laptop’s battery life, extending it by up to 50 percent.
Like many of the other recent releases, the new feature will be first incorporated into a developer edition of the Opera 39 browser, available for both Mac and Windows PCs.
The update follows a default ad blocker that Opera included in its browser; first, it was only accessible on the March developer edition, but it has since become mainstream.
The new low-power mode seems to yield the best results when combined with the ad blocker, and according to Opera, internal tests showed the new build can gain up to an hour of battery life.
For these tests, developers ran the browser on a Core i7-based Dell XPS 13 with 16GB of RAM, powered by a 64-bit version of Windows 10. The company added that ad blocking was also enabled for maximum efficacy.
Krystian Kolondra, Opera’s senior vice president of engineering, said the low-power feature is meant to help users get rid of the frustration of running out of laptop battery – whether they are traveling, watching videos, or just don’t have their charger at hand.
“Our new power-saving mode will nudge you when the laptop starts to consume battery, and, when enabled, it can increase the battery life by as much as 50 percent,” he said in a statement.
But how did Opera manage to preserve power? More than just optimizing its animated themes, some parts of the browser’s code have also been simplified, without stealing away from the experience.
Other improvements, such as adapting page-redrawing frequency, reducing activity in background tabs, and tuning video-playback parameters, have also been included into the new build.
If you’re wondering how you the new mode is enabled, Opera says that it will automatically be displayed when you unplug your laptop. If you have any doubts about whether or not the power-saving mode is on, check for the battery icon next to the search and address field.
Image Source: Opera