Opera has announced an overhaul of its Windows desktop browser with some pretty neat new features, including integrated messaging for some of the top third-party services.

Opera

The latest version, codenamed Reborn sees some important upgrades over previous offerings, with the new sidebar now integrating WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. If like me, you spend a ton of time inside a web browser, having your messaging right there is welcome. If you don't want any of them, just right click and make it go away.

Inspired by Neon, we decided to bring those seamless transitions between chat and discoveries to the Opera browser. The result is Opera Reborn, complete with integrated popular messengers so you can keep chatting with friends without skipping a beat.

Opera's experimental Neon browser has been the inspiration for some of what's new, and one of the other big new features is an integrated dark theme, alongside subtle changes to the user interface that add a lot more polish all round.

The entire layout has been updated with a new, high-quality graphical design that is more consistent across platforms. The tabs are simplified, lighter and more elegant, making it easier to locate open tabs. The new sidebar is more subtle and refined with a touch of animation.

Opera

That's not all. Opera has also improved its built-in ad blocker as well as handing off more video playback tasks to your PCs GPU for better efficiency.

Also, we have added some important changes to the block list management. Now, you have control over which block lists are loaded. Easylist and EasyPrivacy are turned on by default. Other lists, including regional and custom lists, can now be managed through the "Manage Lists…" dialog.

Most graphics processing units (GPUs) can decode videos highly efficiently. With this release, we will send even more videos to the GPU for decoding on Windows. This will allow for significantly higher framerates, higher resolutions, and lower battery usage for these videos.

These features have been available in the developer branch for a little while, and I've been fairly impressed. The sum of the parts makes for an improved web experience across the board, and it's great that it's now pushed down to the regular, stable release.

There's plenty to digest, so hit the Opera Blog for the full details.