Opera has announced the release of Opera Next 15, available for Windows and Mac. Despite not mentioning it in its blog post, the biggest news is the abandonment of the rendering engine Presto, in favor of WebKit, the engine of Chrome and Safari.
For better or worse, Opera Next 15 now looks closer to Chrome than ever before. There’s a unified search and address bar, which is quickly becoming the standard among browsers. There are also new configuration options. The Opera Mail client has been split off from the desktop browser, and can now be downloaded as a standalone app, again for Windows or Mac.
The move to WebKit will be short-lived, as shortly after Opera announced the change, Google itself announced the development of its own web browser engine Blink. This will be used in future versions of Chrome and Opera too.
Opera Next 15 has some other improvements. Speed Dial has been cleaned up, and now looks much brighter. There is a new feature called Stash, where you can store pages temporarily. Opera describes this as a ‘back pocket for your browser.’ Discover is like an Opera home page delivering curated content from a single place, with 13 categories and 30 languages.