dcsimg

Opera Kicks It Up A Notch With Unite

Opera has stepped up the browser heat with Unite. The fledgling technology launched on top of the Opera 10 beta is an interesting collaboration tool that might just change the way users look at the Web browser.

A few weeks ago I took Opera 10 beta for a test drive to see if the Opera folks had a shot at claiming serious share on the desktop. While Opera 10 is the best Opera release yet, it didn’t seem to have any killer features that would drive adoption. Last week, Opera pulled the other one and released Opera Unite: the killer feature that might put Opera over the top.

What the Hell is Unite?

Opera Unite is a feature within Opera to share content and run services within Opera so users don’t need to run their own Web servers or use third-party services to allow them to share content like music or pictures.

So, what can you do with Unite? By default, Unite ships with several services: File sharing, media player, photo sharing, a Web server, a chat “lounge,” and a “fridge” for friends to leave notes on.

I installed Unite on an openSUSE 11.1 laptop and started poking at the various services with my younger brother, who was running Unite on Windows XP. It took about five minutes for him to download, install, and start using Opera 10 with Unite. Not too shabby, and that bodes well for its adoption with less technical users.

One note, Unite requires an account with Opera, so if you don’t already have an account with Opera you’ll need to sign up for one when you fire up Unite.

The Unite Experience

Generally, Unite is easy to set up and work with. I was chatting in The Lounge in short order, and was able to set up an Opera-based Web server in just a few minutes.

But, when you boil it down, The Lounge is just another chat room and really not all that superior to just using Jabber or Google Talk. So, this doesn’t make a major impression on me. Good demo, but not a lot of demand for yet another chat service.

The Fridge, which allows users to leave notes for you, presumably while you’re away, is entirely too cutesy in execution. You can increase the capacity for notes, but you can’t do anything about the theme or annoying font that Opera has picked for the Post-It notes. Also, one flaw — as far as I can tell, one has to keep Opera Unite running at all times for other users to connect. So, if I’m gone and my computer is turned off — which is precisely when someone might get the most value out of being able to leave me a note — they can’t reach the service.

I’ve also had some firewall issues, and an inability to connect to some instances of Unite over the Internet. Not sure whose firewall is at fault, and the troubleshooting docs are slim at the moment. Also, you’re going to be bound by the upload speeds of your friends, so if you’re trying to collaborate with someone over a laggy connection, you might not have the best experience.

Overall, Unite seems like a pretty nifty service out of the box — but the default apps are, at least in theory, just scraping the surface. I’m intrigued, but not quite ready to dump Firefox to make use of Unite. But this could be the first step of Opera turning its browser into a lightweight collaboration tool for home and small business users. Whether things trend in that direction depends entirely on developers.

The really interesting thing about Unite is that Opera is providing an API for developers to create their own services on top of Opera. So, in theory, we should start seeing all kinds of interesting services written for Unite.

But Opera would really be helping users if they could offer some sort of persistance when they’re not logged in. Obviously, this is tricky with file sharing — and potentially legally troublesome if you’re talking about music files. But at least something like The Fridge would benefit from some persistance while users are away from their computers and/or the computer is shut down.

The developer docs are pretty straightforward. Developers can use JavaScript to extend Unite and offer new services on top of the API.

So far I haven’t seen any non-Opera contributed services, so it’s hard to say whether this is going to take off. The docs indicate that Opera is going to be reviewing the contributed services, so there may be some lag between release and reviewed applications appearing on Opera’s site.

Unite is an interesting, if not fully baked, technology. It’s a great vision, but the execution so far is only so-so. If Opera can tighten up the implementation in Opera 10 and convince developers to jump on its APIs and create additional features for Unite, it has a lot of potential.

Comments on "Opera Kicks It Up A Notch With Unite"

dragonwisard

None of these features seem particularly innovative to me.

File sharing, -> FTP, P2P, RapidShare (or similar)
media player, -> YouTube and it\’s many clones
photo sharing, -> Photobucket and friends
a Web server, -> free/cheap hosting is everywhere
a chat “lounge,” -> talk (UNIX talk), IRC, nearly any IM protocol.
and a “fridge” for friends to leave notes on. -> email, Facebook

What is the advantage of running these locally on a client with limited bandwidth and uncertain uptime?

And what is the advantage of yet another server API?

It’s a very good choice. Thanks Joe, reading was very helpful.
cultural travel ideas

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
buy research papers online

What?! You are a generous woman, giving your Ottobre magazines away. Fun for the winners.
Also, are those real bird eggs in your instagram photos? Cool!get to know about us

Innovation has nothing to do with how many R amp&; D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.
Cabo Fishing

An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator… these are NOT three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is.
VPN service

Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

926446 313885I believe other web site owners ought to take this web site as an model, extremely clean and superb user genial design and style . 195469

I simply could not go away your website before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info an individual provide to your visitors? Is gonna be back continuously in order to investigate cross-check new posts

I just want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and absolutely enjoyed you’re web-site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You really come with terrific stories. Thanks for sharing with us your webpage.

Ridiculous quest there. What occurred after? Take care!

Usually posts some quite interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site.

Check below, are some completely unrelated internet websites to ours, even so, they are most trustworthy sources that we use.

Here are a few of the web sites we suggest for our visitors.

We came across a cool web page which you may possibly take pleasure in. Take a search in case you want.

The time to study or pay a visit to the material or sites we have linked to beneath.

The facts talked about within the report are a number of the best accessible.

Here is an excellent Weblog You might Find Fascinating that we encourage you to visit.

Here are some of the web sites we suggest for our visitors.

What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help other users like its helped me. Great job.

One of our guests lately encouraged the following website.

Sites of interest we’ve a link to.

BSd1Sp bkhkooptpjmd, [url=http://adpquarvwecj.com/]adpquarvwecj[/url], [link=http://fehucdgeybpz.com/]fehucdgeybpz[/link], http://onjwptgmpeom.com/

Here is an excellent Weblog You may Find Intriguing that we encourage you to visit.

We prefer to honor a lot of other world wide web web pages around the web, even though they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out.

Sites of interest we have a link to.

Always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but do not get quite a bit of link appreciate from.

Below you?ll uncover the link to some sites that we feel you must visit.

Here are a few of the sites we recommend for our visitors.

Just beneath, are many totally not connected web-sites to ours, however, they are surely really worth going over.

Just beneath, are a lot of completely not associated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be surely really worth going over.

In the cold winter, you find yourself afraid of the dark streets and ice, but it may bother you is light it.

It is reported that Li, Sammi Cheng, Xu Hao Ying, music-based children and other stars were invited to attend, the event can be described as star-studded.

A function of both the fashion and sports style sunglasses, the influx of people has become a free walk through the fast-paced life of the important parts.

Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nonetheless definitely worth taking a search, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got additional problerms as well.

Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless actually worth taking a search, whoa did 1 find out about Mid East has got additional problerms also.

We came across a cool web page that you just may well appreciate. Take a search should you want.

Here are a few of the internet sites we suggest for our visitors.

Here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to for the reason that we assume they’re worth visiting.

Please take a look at the sites we comply with, which includes this a single, because it represents our picks from the web.

Leave a Reply