Opera replaces its iconic web browser on Mac - with AI and a big new design

Opera One on macOS
(Image credit: iMore)

Opera is marking its 100th version of its web browser by replacing it with a brand new one called Opera One, bringing a modern redesign and a big AI feature to boot.

Available to download from today (June 20), Aria is built from OpenAI's ChatGPT, which you can access from the sidebar or by pressing cmd + / once you create an Opera Account, but you can still reach TikTok, WhatsApp, and Instagram there as well if needed.

Everything looks modern in One, with rounded corners abound alongside a bluish-gray color scheme that seemingly marks a new start for Opera since the original browser's debut in April 1995.

“As people who obsess over browser innovation, we saw fit to rethink the role of the browser in light of the recent developments in the AI space. As opposed to other browser companies, Opera didn’t simply add AI services to its browser," explains Joanna Czajka, product director at Opera. "We went back to the drawing board and redesigned our flagship browser. Opera One is built around Aria, our native browser AI, and is the culmination of our work so far.”

After trying out Opera One in macOS, it makes us wonder if Apple missed an opportunity with Safari at WWDC 2023.

Back to One

Opera One Aria AI on macOS

(Image credit: iMore)

Opera brought out Opera One back in April as a web browser in testing, showcasing AI, and its new take on managing tabs called Tab Islands, where tabs appear and disappear based on what you were currently using the browser for.

While the company isn't revealing just yet if its other web browsers, Opera GX, and Opera Crypt,o will see a similar redesign soon, alongside an appearance on its iOS browser, it gives an excellent argument for switching from Apple's Safari browser or another that you've been using on Mac for some time.

In the tweet thread above, it also says that the 'Opera One' name will change every year that's relevant to the latest version number, but after looking at its previous interactions on social media, we're not sure whether that's a serious statement just yet.

At WWDC 2023, Apple announced a few updates to Safari, such as profiles where multiple users can log in, or you can create a work profile to better separate your tabs and bookmarks, alongside being able to put a website into a 'web app' on your Dock in macOS Sonoma.

And while these features will be useful to many, there was nothing about improvements to Safari Extensions or even customization options. But with Opera One, you get a great sidebar that lets you access your social platforms, Tab Islands and an interface that animates in the right places.

Hopefully Opera One inspires other web browsers in what a fresh start can be in this space, and how web browsing can be a fun experience again, much like it was in the late 90s.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.