A new beta of the Opera web browser is now available for download by willing testers and adds a "low bandwidth mode" email feature for when you're on skinny pipes (or just trying to save a few bytes), along with enhanced browser data sync between remote computers, email client improvements, and a better RSS feed preview. Let's take a look.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to Opera 9.6 is a low bandwidth mail mode. The Opera 9.6 Beta 1 changelog details how low bandwidth mode functions:
Low Bandwidth Mode is a setting on mail accounts that makes Opera Mail use as little bandwidth as possible.
- For IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), this means that Opera will only synchronise new messages and it will not fetch message attachments unless requested
- For POP (Post Office Protocol), Opera will not fetch more than the first 100 lines of a message unless requested
Whether you're concerned about bandwidth caps or you just want a better performance out of the mail client, low bandwidth mode fits the bill.
Opera Link, Opera's browser data syncing feature, now includes custom search engines and the typed history from your address bar (it already syncs bookmarks, speed dial, personal bar, and notes). With Opera Link, if you typed in an address at home but didn't think to bookmark it before leaving for work, you can get to it at the office. Opera 9.6 also offers a better RSS feed preview, as seen in the header screenshot at the top of this post. The new layout lets you give a potential RSS feed a more in-depth look before actually subscribing.
Other email tweaks include a Follow/Ignore threads feature to keep an eye on or banish an email thread, and a "Go to thread" option to quickly switch from a flat view to a threaded view for a particular message. For an overview of more Opera features—or if you haven't given it an in-depth look before—check out our Opera 9.5 screenshot tour.