These days, the internet is a crucial part of just about everything we do. For example, I do almost my entire job from a web browser.
While I may be an extreme example, there are plenty of people out there who rely on a web browser. For some, it’s the most important tool on their computer. As such, you should pick your browser carefully — that choice can have far-reaching implications.
I recently switched to Opera following a lengthy stint using Firefox. I chose to try Opera since it’s built on Chromium — the underpinnings of Google’s popular Chrome browser.
Part of that transition is getting Opera set-up on my mobile devices too, which meant download Opera Touch. While I was doubtful at first, I quickly fell in love with the light, blazing fast design of Opera Touch.
Opening Opera Touch presents you with the ‘Home’ tab, containing everything you need. A swipe to the left opens ‘My Flow’ — we’ll get to this in a minute — and a right swipe opens your history.
The home tab has links to sites recently opened in Opera on your computer. Below that are several ‘top sites’ that you visit often. Finally, there’s a search bar at the top. By default, it uses Google search, but you can customize this in settings.
Opera’s Fast Action Button helps you surf the web quickly
However, the essential part of Opera Touch is at the bottom of the screen: a small purple button Opera calls the Fast Action Button. Tapping this button switches you between your current tab and the home screen.
However, a long-press on the button starts the magic.
This opens up a radial menu of quick-actions. Without lifting your thumb, you can drag to one of the options and release to select it. Directly to the left of your thumb is a back button. Above that is an ‘X’ button to close the tab. You’ve also got a search button and a new tab button.
Badges with some of your open tabs hover above the buttons so you can switch between open websites quickly. There’s also a badge to jump into a list of all your open tabs across all your connected Opera browsers.
Finally, there’s a button to send the current tab to My Flow. One of Opera’s standout features, My Flow lets you quickly send tabs and notes between your phone and your computer. It’s shaped like a chat screen, with speech bubbles for each device.
Connecting My Flow to Opera on your desktop is surprisingly simple. Users only have to open My Flow on desktop and scan the QR code with their phone — no tricky sign-in business with usernames and passwords.
Aside from the unique navigation structure — which highlights search and finding things quickly — Opera Touch brings plenty of other excellent features.
Opera Touch has a dark mode, it has built-in ad-block, and it even blocks sites from leveraging your processor to mine cryptocurrency.
Update 20/12/2018: Corrected a sentence that said Opera Touch didn’t support bookmarks. The browser does support bookmarks — you can tap the star icon in the menu to bookmark a page.