In the developer stream, Opera is today introducing a completely new and redesigned user interface for its desktop browser. These changes have been unveiled through a surprisingly brand new project, codenamed ‘Reborn’. This project aims to bring along smooth and lightweight graphical upgrades that are less platform-specific. The company will provide more details about the same via upcoming updates.

As for the new developer version, the update only feels like more of a visual refresh. There don’t seem to be any under-the-hood changes that might affect the performance of the browser as of yet. Apparently, the browser has been given a facelift and major changes can be noticed in tabs, buttons, and the speed dial.

Very much like the norm these days, Opera seems to be imbibing minimalist and boxy elements with rounded corners to make an elegant offering. The tabs are now more close cut and sleek, thus, it may feel better adapted for Windows 10 users as compared to Mac ones. Also, this update brings along slight changes to the speed dial as well. The bookmark tabs now feel more prominent and seem to pop out, thanks to subtle animations and drop shadow changes. Three new default wallpapers have also been added to the browser.

This is being complemented with the introduction of themes. Yes, everyone’s favorite dark theme is now being brought along with Reborn and it changes the color of the address bar and tabs to some shade of black — dark grey. This also applies to the wallpaper for the speed dial, which gets shadowed with the same dark theme. And I’m loving it.

Further, the most prominent change that’ll catch your eye the instant you open the developer browser is the sidebar. Opera has ported the sidebar from the speed dial to the main browser window. This change falls in line with its recent experiment Opera Neon, which showed off the company’s vision for a futuristic browser. The sidebar will be visible by default for new users (i.e if you download the browser right now) but existing users need to flip the switch to activate it. And one can do the following with it:

This first version of the new sidebar gives you one-click access to important tools such as bookmarks, history, personal news and extensions. You can customize the tools that appear in the sidebar according to what you find useful.

But, that’s not it. Bringing the sidebar to the main browser window is also aimed at making the browser an easy communication tool. The company has demoed a tiny version of Facebook Messenger pinned to the sidebar. And it’s impressive. We can expect more extensions to make their way to the browser in the coming days. The functionality is seamless, as it opens a separate pop-out window over your current tab. Thus, it doesn’t disrupt your browsing and you can get back to doing your work once you’ve replied to a text.

Project Reborn is a completely new addition to the developer stream. It is most likely in beta and the company is looking to gather feedback about the new features. One can also expect to see more features from Opera Neon being ported to the main browser offering soon.

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