WEB BROWSER MAKER Opera has released Opera 21 for Windows and Mac, the first to feature version of the browser to boast hardware acceleration.
The Aura acceleration engine is a fork of the Chromium project with the aim to create a user interface (UI) of "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration".
As part of the upgrade the web browser, which switched to using Chromium code last year, has based this latest version on Chromium build 34.0.1847.132 which Opera claims will improve its website compatibility. Although there is no official support of each other's add-ons, Chrome and Opera are now closely enough linked that several community built project will allow compatibility.
The Mac version of the Opera 21 web browser uses Apple's native Core Animation technology instead of Aura.
Also new is the option to see a full URL in the address field. Up to now, Opera has hidden superfluous data after a page has loaded, but public demand has resulted in an option to override this.
Opera is also the company behind the Coast web browser that it recently launched to challenge the speed of the native Safari web browser in iOS.
The company also recently launched a scheme to allow users to view data via its Opera Mini browser without a data plan, in return for watching some adverts, naturally.
There are hundreds of other tweaks in the new version of Opera, too numerous to list here, but if you have the patience, you can click through to the changelog. µ