The Browser from Norway, Opera is getting enhancements at a rapid pace. Just a couple of months ago we saw native ad-blocking come to its desktop version and a free VPN service was released for the iOS client just three days ago. The company has today announced that a new feature called power-saving mode will now be integrated into its Windows and OS X browsers.

The power-saving mode, unlike most, has been tested and proven, according to Opera. The company notes that they are the first major browser to include a dedicated power saving mode. Apparently, the new mode will allow Opera to save up to 50% compared to other mainstream browsers like Chrome and Firefox (no mention of Safari, though as Apple had made a similar claim stating that their proprietary browser could last 2 hours longer on OS X compared to other web clients).

The mode gets activated automatically as soon as your laptop is disconnected from the power source. The browser also notifies you to turn on the mode once you battery gets lower than 20 percent. You will now see a new battery icon next to the search bar that can be flipped on to trigger the power-saving mode. Once activated, the browser goes through several under-the-hood optimizations to deliver these savings. These, according to Opera include:

  • Reduced activity in background tabs
  • Waking CPU less often due to more optimal scheduling of JavaScript timers
  • Automatically pausing unused plug-ins

Along with this, the company also announced improvements to the browser VPN experience. The browser has now made it easier to browse with some websites in VPN mode, while at the same time keep browsing other websites with VPN turned off. They have also brought changes to the private browsing mode.

The announcement reads:

We believe that with this change, our browser VPN features provides even better privacy for users. Moreover, we wanted to make it easier to discover for new and existing users, therefore the VPN badge is always visible in the private window.

Additionally, in the first release for VPN, there was an issue where your original IP could be found by the webpage through establishing an WebRTC connection. We have resolved this by deactivating WebRTC when in VPN mode.

Interestingly, these enhancements come to Opera at a time when one of its co-founders Jon von Tetzchner left the company due to a different-than-expected direction it had taken, to launch a critically appraised power-user focused browser, Vivaldi. Vivaldi has been bringing decent feature upgrades, and recently came out with a public version, the Vivaldi 1.0 a month back.

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