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Opera buys GameMaker Studio creator to get deeper into gaming
by João Carrasqueira
Opera, the developer of the web browser of the same name, has announced its acquisition of YoYo Games, a Scotland-based team behind the popular game development tool, GameMaker Studio. The transaction is worth nearly $10 million, and it will help Opera kickstart a new division of its company, Opera Gaming.
This isn't Opera's first venture into the gaming world. In 2019, the company introduced Opera GX, a web browser designed for gamers, offering some performance-focused features such as low power usage and a network limiter to improve online connections in games. Over time, features such as integration with Razer Chroma have also been added, as well as Discord integration. While some might argue a "gaming browser" has no real benefits, Opera claims 7 million monthly active users in December 2020, a 350% growth year-on-year.
GameMaker Studio is a popular tool for indie developers, specifically for 2D games, allowing developers to create games for more platforms easily from a single codebase. Some acclaimed titles, such as Risk of Rain, Undertale, and Hyper Light Drifter, were developed using the tool.
Opera Gaming will bring together Opera GX and YoYo Games, and the company says the new division will focus on innovating in the gaming, game development, and browser spaces. It's not clear exactly how that innovation will materialize just yet, but we're likely to hear more about it in the future.
Opera for Android 61 launches with media player and WebSnap
by Paul Hill
Opera has announced the availability of Opera for Android 61. The new update includes an integrated media player that removes the need for third-party media players as well as WebSnap, a tool that lets you snap the current page and add doodles, text, and emojis before sending the picture to your contacts. The built-in QR code scanner has also been made easier to access.
The headline feature is this update is the integrated media player. According to Opera, it providers users with a “smooth media experience” and removes the need to open content in a third-party player. The new media player includes Play Queue support so you can watch or listen to your media in a particular order while continuing to browse. It also supports picture-in-picture mode you can watch and browse at the same time.
Another new addition is WebSnap which functions like the snapshot tool on the desktop version of Opera. WebSnap lets you screenshot the current page and add doodles, text, and emojis before you forward the image onto friends. The WebSnap feature can be accessed in the three-dot menu in the top right.
The final change in Opera for Android 61 is that the QR scanner is now easier to open. Opera said that QR codes are becoming more and more common in markets around the world so it wanted to make the QR scanner more prominent and easier to access. You can open the QR scanner directly in the search box on the start page as well as on web pages. If you long-press the Opera home screen icon, you can drag the QR scanner onto the home screen making your native QR scanning app redundant.
The firm said that this version also includes over 300 fixes which will ensure you receive the best possible browsing experience. If you already have Opera for Android installed, you should get the update automatically via the Google Play Store. If you don’t have the browser yet and want to try it, you can find it here.
Opera GX adds support for Razer Chroma RGB Lighting Effects
by Paul Hill
Opera has announced that its gaming browser, Opera GX, now supports Razer Chroma RGB Lighting Effects so that any of your Chroma-enabled devices will dynamically respond to your browsing. Whenever you start your browser, open a new tab, activate limiters or finish a download your Razer products will respond with custom Chroma RGB Lighting Effects.
Opera GX has always had support for Razer Chroma RGB ever since it launched in 2019 during E3 that year. Before today, users could set up Opera GX so that Razer hardware would match the browser’s theme colours but with dynamic Razer Chroma RGB support, you’ll be able to make your Razer hardware light-up in interesting ways.
In addition to the lighting effects mentioned above, Opera GX has added the ability to play GIFs on your Razer keyboard whenever you get a notification from Discord, Twitch, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp or Instagram. This will be good for those who like to receive prominent notifications.
According to Opera, the new lighting effects are not continually displayed, rather they’re invoked whenever something occurs in the browser. If you are playing a game or watch a movie in full-screen, any lighting effects sent to your Razer hardware will be dimmed as not to distract you too much.
Opera GX gets new themes and junk file cleaner
by Paul Hill
Opera has announced a new version of Opera GX that adds several new features including new colour themes, GX Cleaner to purge junk files, and Easy Files which makes it easier to attach or upload recently downloaded files or those recently added to your clipboard. Along with the update, Opera also revealed that it gamer-oriented browser now boasts 5 million active monthly users.
With this update, Opera GX comes with a selection of themes through a feature called Secondary Colors. Some of the preset themes include Rose Quartz, Ultraviolet, Hackerman, Frutti Di Mare, and more.
If you don’t like the presets you can also create your own colour scheme with loads of variations accessible through a colour wheel. The icons on the Opera sidebar will also adjust themselves to match the theme you choose.
One of the selling points of Opera GX, when it was launched, was that you’d be able to tune the performance of the browser so more resources could be used for gaming. Building on this, Opera GX adds GX Cleaner which lets you purge old and unnecessary files, freeing up computing resources.
With GX Cleaner you can delete cache, cookies, browsing history, and downloaded files but you can filter these out by date or specific browser location. These controls allow you to delete items that you want to specifically delete while preserving the rest.
Finally, Opera GX introduces Easy Files which was first introduced in the main Opera browser. With Easy Files, you can quickly attach or upload recently downloaded items or files that you have added to your clipboard.
Opera said that snaps you create with Opera’s Snapshot tool are also compatible with Easy Files making them really easy to share. Easy Files will also present you with three files that you’ve recently interacted with, it anticipates that among these is the file you want to share so saves you the time you’d have spent digging around looking for the file.
Opera GX is only available for Windows machines and is still considered early access so there could be bugs or missing features that you otherwise rely on. If you want to download it anyway head over to the Opera GX website.
By Jefferson Mangubat
Opera now lets you sync data between Android and PC with a QR code
by Jefferson Mangubat
Opera has introduced a new update to its web browser for Android and PC that makes it easier to sync data between its mobile and desktop versions. The company has also added Flow to Opera on Android, a native chat feature in the browser.
The new Opera for Android, version 60, now allows users to scan a QR code that can be displayed on its desktop version, where that code can be generated through this link. Once that is done, the web browser will sync data between its Android and PC versions including bookmarks, open tabs, favorites, browsing history and more without requiring an email or password login. This is courtesy of the updated Sync feature of the browser, with support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Stefan Stjernelund, Product Manager of Opera for Android, has this to say:
Opera for Android has also added Flow, which originally comes from the Opera Touch browser. This feature allows users to "chat" with themselves in the browser to share links, photos, or texts across devices by highlighting them and choosing "Send to Flow" in the context menu.
Flow supports end-to-end encryption and users can also upload files of up to 10MB. You can also send a current website by clicking on the arrow to the right of the address bar. In addition, Opera for Android adds Suggested Sites to its speed dial section in order to display your frequently visited websites.
For its desktop version (now updated to version 71), Opera has introduced the Easy Files feature. It basically allows users to attach files by showing their most recently downloaded files so they won't have to dig further.