Opera has never been incredibly popular on the desktop, yet it managed to survive for decades. It's done it by branching out into other niches, low-end mobile phones, Internet-enabled devices, and more recently, TVs.
To drive that point home, Opera is now opening up a TV app store, featuring a New Year makeover for the cloud-based application store with a new experience, new features and new apps for its users.
2013 sees exciting new apps added to the Opera TV Store. Many of these are video apps and games, coming from leading content partners such as Flingo and adRise, including the Havoc Television and Asian Crush apps.
Other new apps in the Opera TV Store include CNN Expansion, Freshmilk TV and Fashion Daily TV.
As well as advancements to speed and performance, the most significant revamp is to the user interface, updated to make the Opera TV Store sleeker, more stylish and easier to navigate. The new interface enables users to discover fun and relevant apps more easily, with an improved search experience.
The Opera TV Store features several new ways to promote applications. This includes new categories for featured apps and new algorithms for prioritization of apps based on popularity, vendor, device and geographical location. The new version makes it easy for OEMs and operators to control placement in their own devices, maximizing usage and protecting their investment in services.
Every TV application in the Opera TV Store is a Web-based application and optimized to work on TV by adjusting to different screen sizes and resolutions. There are many HTML5 apps for video, music, games and news available now in the Opera TV Store for users to select.
The TV Store will enable Opera for TV users to expand the functionality of their TV. For developers, it's now possible to create custom apps based on YouTube (News - Alert) channels with the Leanback UI enabled.
"Your TV can now be smarter, thanks to expanded functionality from apps, just like those for mobile phones," said Lars Boilesen, chief executive officer at Opera Software (News - Alert). "Apps play a key role in content discovery. With the Opera TV Store on Humax's new set-top boxes, you can discover lots of interesting and entertaining online content that has already been optimized for TV screens. This brings users a better internet experience on TV."
The Opera TV Store is now available on Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, with more OEMs to announce support shortly. The Opera ecosystem is more than just the Opera TV Store, with Opera powering tens of millions of devices, such as Sony, Boxee, Hisense (News - Alert), Freesat+, Vestel, Altech and Topfield.
Opera is hardly alone in the smart TV space, in fact, despite very low adoption and usage, 2013 seems poised to be the year of the smart TV. The Opera TV Store and the Opera Devices SDK enable developers to create apps and share them with the world.
Edited by Braden Becker