doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Less Switching

You know, just when you think your web browser has all the features that any sane person could ever want, something else comes along.

That’s what happened with the newest update to the Opera browser.

I’ll confess that when I get a message that “XXXXXX has been updated”, I seldom check out what was updated.  Usually, it’s security or some feature that I don’t have an immediate use for and I guess I just have just got lazy.

However, the latest version of Opera caught my attention because it directed me to a really colourful webpage after the download.

And, it includes a feature that I didn’t see coming and now that it’s here, I wonder why it took a browser this long to include it.

One of Opera’s nice features is the sidebar.  I keep mine pinned to the side of the screen and have typically used it to quickly get to downloads, open my Personal News, and to access Speed Dial.  But look at what else is there now!


If you’re into Icons, you should recognize Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram at the very top.  The significance?

There’s nothing that I find more frustrating than doing something in a browser and then getting a notification that I have a new message.  Of course, if I had any willpower, I’d just wait until I’m done doing what I’m doing to check it out.  But, you know what they say about curiosity.

Until this release of Opera, I’d have to leave the tab I’m in and head over to the tab which generated the notification.  No longer!  I just tap the application icon in the sidebar and the conversation pops over my existing workspace.  No more switching.

I was pleasantly surprised with how functional this is.  First of all, the overlay is more colourful and has a bigger font.  That’s a good thing.

But the ability to get at it without switching over, typing a response, and then switching back has been the biggest timesaver I’ve run across in a while.

Give it a shot and see if you don’t agree.  I wonder how long it will be before other browsers copy this feature.


2 responses to “Less Switching”

  1. Oh, that’s so cool! This is also a frustration for me. Makes me wonder….Messenger can do overlays in mobile….what about other apps?


    1. Yes, but I’m not a real good conversationalist on mobile. Give this old school guy a keyboard anyday!


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