Apple introduced the Safari browser which was free, faster, leaner, meaner, and made by Apple, so it didn’t take long for Mac folk to ditch the Microsoft brand and go with the future. It took minutes for Safari to become the Mac’s de facto leader (default has its privileges) which brought the golden age for Mac browsers– except for one holdout from the last century.
Sing To Me, Opera!
Mac users today have many browser choices, though most of us go with Safari first, Google’s Chrome second, Mozilla’s Firefox third, and, well, fourth place is well represented by Other.
The Other category includes Opera for the Mac; still fast, still free, still the alternative browser for the Mac folks who truly think different.
I say will live in the golden age of Mac browsers because the best browsers are fast and feature laden and free. All three of the major browser brands have plenty of add ons to customize and personalize the browsing experience.
What Opera does is think different. For example, email is built into the browser. That’s right. An app is only feature complete when it does email.
Opera also comes with a somewhat unique compression mode which compresses web pages to provide a faster page viewing experience. Top sites are given a place on the custom start page called Speed Dial and the Stash feature captures a webpage to be viewed later.
Safari, Chrome, and Firefox have visual differences, and Opera keeps the trend toward differentiation alive and well.
Preferences and configuration options in Opera are plentiful; less geeky and granular than Firefox, but more than Chrome and Safari.
Other than built-in email, the Off-Road webpage compression technique, and a few other options, what makes Opera stand out among the more well known browsers for the Mac?
Not much. Opera is fast, elegant, renders pages accurately and quickly, and even looks and feels like a Mac app. In short, Opera is a the Rodney Dangerfield of Mac browsers; it just doesn’t get much respect and it’s not dead yet.
Wait. No. That’s wrong. Rodney died already.