I haven’t used the Opera web browser since… Well, forever – but I’m well aware it remains a popular option with folks.
Today, June 20, Opera hit version 100 and, through the power of marketing, transforms itself into Opera One.
At least, that’s what I think is happening.
The official press release says “Opera’s flagship browser today passes the baton to the brand-new Opera One on Windows, Mac and Linux.” — but the branding within the browser itself doesn’t use the “One” moniker. It’s still just called “Opera”.
So, who knows.
What is Opera One?
Opera has form when it comes to releasing “bespoke” versions of its browser tailored for specific niche cases. It has a popular “gaming browser” in Opera GX, there was the short-lived Opera Neon, and (iconic) Opera Mini, and an Android-based spin called Opera for Chromebooks.
Opera One is a new version of Opera browser. Its key USP is artificial intelligence (AI) integration.
You may have heard about this already as development builds of the browser’s AI — or “AI” if you’re of a more cynical persuasion, me also, buddy — additions were made available in April.
“Opera One is the first browser to come with an integrated browser AI, Aria. Aria can be reached via a new command line, as well as from the browser sidebar. It offers free access to a leading GPT-based solution along with up-to-date information from the web,” reads the press release.
To use Opera’s Aria (the name of the built-in AI) you do need to sign up for an Opera account, accept a bunch of terms and conditions, and (I assume) permit some privacy invasion. I declined, thus I haven’t tried the AI features.
You access AI at anytime in Opera. There’s a sidebar button that opens an AI conversation panel beside your web content, allowing you to punch in your prompt. A cuter way to use it: press
/ to bring up a command palette, and whack your question in there.
The browser boasts additional integrations (e.g., sidebar access to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp), plus contextually aware “Tab Islands” that group your tabs based on what you’re browsing.
Opera One’s UI looks flashy in screenshots for macOS and Windows but on Ubuntu it looks wildly out of place. System dark mode preference is respected, and I can say the browser looks a lot nicer in dark mode.
Anyway, that’s kind of it.
Opera One (or Opera, I still don’t know) is closed-source software. It’s free to download on Windows, macOS, and Linux (available as DEB). Ubuntu users may prefer to get Opera on the Snap Store, or try the (seemingly unofficial) version on Flathub.