The first beta version of Opera 11 is out today and its feature of power is stacked tabs. Traditionally, users viewed their tabs side by side but now, using Opera, users can stack their tabs grouping them by site or by theme. To stack tabs, drag one tab on top of another. Hovering the mouse over a tab will cause the stack to expand in a visual preview. Clicking the arrow icon expands the current stack across the tab bar. To watch a demo of tab stacking, watch the video below.
Opera 11 also introduces extensions. In the three weeks since extensions debuted in the alpha release of Opera 11, more than 500,000 extensions have been downloaded.The full extension catalog is available here. Opera 11 also features Mouse Gestures. Mouse gestures provide a way to control Opera with a few simple mouse movements. They were released with Opera 5 and have been a popular function. Other features of Opera 11 include:
- The address field now hides unnecessary information and puts the security status of each page front and center. Now, badges explain the security state of the site, giving consumers clear information about the sites they visit.
- Plug-ins can be set to load on-demand. This can give as much as 30 percent performance improvement.
- Extensions and Opera Unite applications are updated automatically through Opera’s update mechanism.
- Even more work has been done to boost browsing speed, particularly for Linux. Opera 11 for Linux is 15 to 20 percent faster on common benchmarks than Opera 10.63.
- Bookmarks are just a click away thanks to a new bookmarks bar that replaces Opera’s personal bar.
- Opera 11 is 30 percent smaller than Opera 10.63, despite including new features.
The Opera 11 beta (English only) is available for download here. Opera promises no drummers were harmed in the making of the browser.