Opera is a very forward-thinking web browser. Many of the standard components to modern web browsing, such as tabs, browser sessions, mouse gestures and built-in torrent downloading, were first introduced (or introduced to the world at large), by Opera. Why, then, is it not more popular? For me, Opera has long been a last resort (as it is for many people, as Opera, according to w3counter.com, has only a 1.9 percent market share), because it lacked extensions. I love the ability to add little features to my browser (I’ve been a long-time Firefox user, and now use Google Chrome), but Opera doesn’t have that feature.
At least, it doesn’t have it right now, but that is soon to change. Download a preview copy of the upcoming version 11 of Opera, and you’ll notice it has the ability to install extensions. I decided to take the plunge and installed the alpha version of the upcoming Opera, and was completely thrilled. One of the first extensions I downloaded from the Opera extensions page was something called To-Read Sites. To-Read Sites is similar to Read It Later, a popular website and browser add-on that makes it possible to compile a list of websites you want to read at a later date, but don’t want to add to your bookmarks.
Using To-Read Sites is simple. After you’ve installed it, you’ll notice a new icon in your toolbar. When you find a website you want to read later, simply click the icon and then the Add Current button. The website’s name and URL will be added to your list, and the icon will gain a number badge to match the number of articles you’ve added to your list.
When you’re ready to read the article, whether that is in ten minutes, ten days, or ten weeks, just return to the menu, click the icon, and then click the article you want to read. The article will be removed from your list, the number badge will decrease by one, and your article will load. If you don’t finish, just add it back to the list until you’re ready to finish.
At the moment, that’s all To-Read Sites can do. It’s far from complete, but it still has time, as Opera 11 is still in alpha status. A couple features I’d like to see would be the ability to move items around on the list, as well as delete items that no longer interest me. I’d also like the ability to add a URL for any page, not just the page I’m currently visiting. Being able to synchronize the list with other copies of Opera (between work and home, for instance), would be great. At some point, thanks to Opera Link, the built-in synchronization utility all recent copies of Opera have, this may be possible, but it’s likely up to the developer of individual extensions to support it. Finally, the ability to export my reading list would allow me to take my list with me or email it to friends and family.
Still, for one of the first extensions on Opera, a platform quite new to the whole world of extensions, To-Read Sites shows a lot of promise. The interface is nice, the functionality that’s present is good, and it’s quick. There are still some visual quirks, but nothing that can’t presumably be fixed by the time Opera 11 is officially released. If you’d like to try out To-Read Sites, or any of the new Opera extensions, you’ll need to first download and install a copy of the preview releases of Opera 11, available at this link:
Once you have the new version installed, you can grab any of the new Opera extensions, including To-Read Sites.