Opera desktop browser gets a new look, dark theme gets darker

Opera shuffles around buttons in its forthcoming release with re-design inspired by photography.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Opera has taken the wraps off its take on a completely new look and feel for the browser. The new look is coming in version 59 and can be seen in the developer preview. 

Each of Opera's "Reborn" releases — this is Reborn 3 — are meant to "redefine the modern browser" in look and functionality. For this release, however, it appears the company has gone for minor tweaks to the existing look and feel. 

Opera already features a dark and light mode in the current version, but the new take on these themes is apparently inspired by photography and aims to "minimize the amount of light in a photo while still retaining contrast". This translates to a browser 'chrome' in the new version being noticeably blacker in dark mode, while light is considerably whiter. But that's it. 

The main change is that Opera's Easy Setup icon for controlling dark and light themes has moved from a floating icon in the main browser window to the top right toolbar adjacent to the URL and search bar.  

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In the current version the shortcuts in the toolbar next to URL bar include a share icon and battery saver. Opera has also moved the screenshot 'camera' icon to this toolbar across from its former place on its busy side menu, which include shortcuts to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Also on the top right toolbar is the My Flow button to connect a phone 

Opera says on its blog that it wasn't trying to achieve a minimalist design that was clean but less functional. So, while on one hand R3 is meant to redefine browsing the web, this update is more about tweaking existing features to make them more accessible.

The company says its new tabs have been designed to "elicit a visceral response", but they're not much different to the existing tabs.   

However, moving the snapshot button from the the side panel to the top toolbar has made space for a new crypto wallet button. Opera added a crypto wallet to its Opera for Android a few months ago and now that's also integrated into the desktop browser. Using it on desktop, however, requires pairing the crypto wallet on the desktop browser with the Opera Android browser. 


Light and dark theme inspired by photography in the new Opera browser.

Image: Opera


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