Opera 15 Next – Fast, Missing Features, Does HTML5, Future Best Mac Browser Candidate?

Fairer Platform notes that Opera 15 Next (beta) has lost its in-house developed Presto browser engine, which has been replaced by Apple’s Open Source WebKit engine.

There are also some attractive new features, including app auto updates, enhanced Speed Dial and Stash, but much is still missing.

If you can live with that, Fairer Platform says Opera 15 is really fast, with pages simply snap into place on an aging 2011 iMac and Flash player seems to perform well. More objectively, Opera 15 scores 433 (87%) out of 500 points on the HTML5Test, while Safari 6.0.x manages only 393, Firefox 21 comes in at 399 and Chrome 27 delivers an impressive 463 (93%).

Your editor, a longtime Opera fan, has been checking out Opera 15 Next, and it is indeed speedy. I miss the functionality of the traditional Opera interface, although I expect the new one will get compliments for aesthetic appearance. Personally, I’m in the form follows function camp.

Speaking of which, I’m not happy with Opera having dispensed with Bookmarks in Opera 15. Stash is a great feature, but it’s no adequate substitute for the no-hassle immediacy of a Bookmarks menu.

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So Which Is The Best Mac Browser?

Macworld UK’s Mark Hattersley wisely opts to not declare an overall winner, and goes with a more nuanced ‘it depends.’

On what?


Safari: Best Mac browser for Apple fans
Firefox: Best Mac browser for tinkerers
Google Chrome: Best for developers
Opera: Best web browser for innovation and proxy content

Which is the most popular Mac browser? According to Macworld readers. In April 2013 the Top 5 Mac browsers according to the site’s own web statistics were:
Internet Explorer
Safari iOS

Over 50 per cent of Macworld readers use Safari, making it’s by far the most popular choice amongst fellow Mac users.

Hattersley also gives honourable mention to:
Rock Melt: Interesting Mac browser with a focus on integrating social media
Torch Browser: All-in-one browser and media player. Interesting to people who download a lot of torrents.
Camino: Open source web browser from Mozilla. Lacks any real unique features, but is nice to use.
Flock: A unique browser with an emphasis on social networking
Sunrise: Interesting browser for developers with a range of information about how websites load.

He unfortunately left out my two favorite ‘alternative’ Mac OS Web browsers – Roccat and Sleipnir, both of which are well worth checking out.

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