Opera Beta Improves Syncing

Opera Software ASA has released a beta of its upcoming desktop browser, code-named Kestrel, which can synchronize bookmarks between a PC and a mobile device.

The update to Opera 9.5, released Thursday, also fixes "hundreds of bugs" that were in the alpha version, said Huid Kleinhout, desktop team manager, in Opera's desktop blog. "Web site rendering has been significantly improved, along with performance, stability and usability," he wrote.

The synching feature, called Opera Link, can sychronize bookmarks between Opera's mobile and desktop browsers. When a person uses Opera Mini 4.5, a mobile browser that's also in beta, and the desktop browser, new bookmarks are copied to a server and made available in both browsers.

The bookmarks can also be accessed from any other browser by logging into the Opera Link Web page.

Opera Link is designed to help people who want to visit a Web site on their mobile device that they have bookmarked on their PC, but don't want to search for it again or type in the address. Or for people who are at work or a friend's house and want to find a Web page again that they bookmarked at home.

The synchronization also works with Speed Dial, a feature that presents thumbnail graphics of a person's favorite Web sites in a new tab.

Opera Link is available for Macintosh, Windows and Linux computers, and users will need to sign up for a free Opera account. Opera Link was also in the alpha release of Opera 9.5, but it was buggy.

Opera, based in Oslo, is a distant third in browser market share behind Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox.

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