Opera's first dev channel release is ready for graduation and has now been pushed to the Next channel, the equivalent to the Chrome and Firefox Beta channels. Opera 17 is now considered stable enough to be tested by a larger group of users."As the Opera rapid release cycle beds down, today we're promoting Opera 17 from the Developer channel (highly experimental) to the Next channel, which is our feature-complete line and the last stage before being released to the world as the stable product," Opera explained.
Opera 17 was introduced about a month ago as the first release in the new dev channel, so the Norwegian software company is moving rather fast. That said, it does have a lot of catching up to do if it wants Opera 12 fans to switch over to the new Chrome/Chromium-based browser.
Opera 17 Next doesn't come with a long list of new features, but any improvement is good. Users get more control over the browser thanks to more settings and preferences available. Notably, users can now switch between several startup styles and manage the built-in search engines.
Users interested in less clutter or those who keep some sites running all the time will be glad to know that Opera 17 now supports pinned tabs again.
The first stages of support for Retina displays are also included, as the Windows build can determine the DPI of the display used.
Finally, extension developers now have more features to choose from and users can hide the extension buttons from the toolbar if they want more space.
That said, one of the big features planned for Opera 17, the Quick Access bar, aka the bookmarks bar, isn't ready yet and is now being pushed to Opera 18. Bookmarks are one of the major features that the new browser is missing and over which users complained. Opera Sync is similarly postponed until the server-side code is ready.