I use Opera Browser ever since it turned to freeware and I enjoyed it. But I think it is about time to move on.
For a while now I keep getting annoyed by websites and apps that do not support my browser of choice, and that’s purely because of the market share and not because of some big implementation deficiencies (like IE). The biggest hit was Google Docs. The spreadsheets were sometimes unusable and all Google had to say about it was that “my browser is not supported”. My constant 2% of the market share browser is not worth it.
Yahoo Mail, another web-application I use very often, is also not in love with Opera. The older design (not the really old one) was working well enough to be usable on Opera, but the new one is quite a mess. I need to refresh the page every once in a (short) while and it is slow. Not a nice experience.
A new big hit is Udacity, which had a great design (and fresh enough - launched February 2012, how rusty might it have been). They decided they need a new design, which is nice, I like when things improve, but the new design does not support my browser anymore. And it does that the wrong way, by telling me that my browser is bad and not supported and should not be used. Well, not really with that words, but this is wrong because it works just fine if I spoof the User-Agent into making him believe I actually use Chrome. There could be some features that are missing or misbehaving that I didn’t notice, but the basic functionality is there and running well. Some people pick the “flawless or none” philosophy, but why not even give it a try. Also, telling Opera users, Safari users and even more hippie users that, while their browser is not supported, IE is a great browser and they should switch to that is a bad-bad thing.
After blaming all these products and companies for some times, I started to think that maybe the problem is somewhere else. Maybe the problem is with the browser. Maybe I just use the wrong one. The one with great features but no luck of getting popular. The one that is fast but has a larger number of bugs compared to other browsers. I started thinking about switching to an other browser and what might this involve.
Maybe Opera guys should think about solving some of these problems. They probably are, but it’s not showing.
The best choice is definitely Google Chrome. It already has features similar to Opera Sync, address-bar search with search-engines keywords.
It doesn’t have built in features like mouse gestures (probably will find a good substitute as extension), tabs stacking (extensions won’t help here). I will really miss the Ctrl+Enter log in, unless I find an extension that does exactly the same thing. Another thing that I would miss a lot is the “tabs trash”/”Closed Tabs button” in Opera that is very handy, while in Chrome I need a new tab for that (and new-tab is also slower on my machine). SpeedDial is also better in Opera.
Another disadvantage: Chrome is much slower with a large number of tabs opened (and I always keep that bar full). At least this is what I experience.
Conclusion: I’m not convinced yet, I don’t want to do it unless I really need to, but I start considering this, and if I leave I will most likely never come back.