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November 22, 2013

Opera 18 Adds WebRTC, getUserMedia Support

The latest version of Opera for desktop brings the browser into the WebRTC fold alongside Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. This means users have a third option if they want to participate in some real-time, browser-based video chatting. But that’s not all Opera 18 brings to the table — or to the tablet, for that matter.

Indeed, Opera 18 is a simultaneous release for desktop and Android, bringing support for WebRTC and getUserMedia, as well as themes, to desktop users and some nifty updates to Android users, particularly tablet users. Unfortunately, Opera hasn’t brought WebRTC to its Android browser yet, but those using the Chrome Beta for Android have had access to mobile WebRTC since July, while Firefox for Android has offered this since September.

As for Opera 18, the desktop browser now enables access to the camera and microphone via getUserMedia. Besides being a key component for WebRTC, getUserMedia (gUM) also enables other fun functionality, as Opera was quick to point out.

“Try using your head to control a game with FaceKat, which uses gUM and the open-source headtrackr JavaScript by Opera’s Audun Mathias Øygard,” suggested Opera in a blog post.

Opera 18 also introduces support for a number of other APIs, including chrome.permissions, chrome.browsingData and chrome.pageCapture, to name a few. This builds upon the introduction of extensions in Opera 15, the version that brought the browser over to a Chromium base.

As for themes, Opera says it’s now very easy to make your own theme for the browser. Themes can be uploaded to Opera’s themes page just as easily.

As for the Android release of Opera 18, the browser has been redesigned to take full advantage of the larger screen size offered by larger devices, making for a much better tablet experience. Meanwhile, the browser’s Speed Dial function makes it easy to create a list of most frequently visited Web pages, much like Chrome’s new tab page.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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