Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Opera Unite for Windows/Mac/Linux gives you immediate access to group or personal learning spaces


Today I tried out the newly launched Opera Unite application. It got to my attention through Chris Mills from Opera who published the introducation to Opera Unite just today.

The general idea is quite straight forward: you download the latest Opera Unite version for your OS and you install it. After that you enable the Opera Unite server by using the Opera Browser, clicking on the 'tools' tab, choosing 'opera unite server' and enabling it. At this point you do need to subscribe to this service (giving your username, password, e-mail address) like you would with any other social media app. From that moment onward you can share what you want with who you want.

What is this app about? Well, it gives you the possibility to build user/learner groups and exchange files (documents, pictures), use chat-service, leave notes... without having to go through another one's server. Opera Unite makes your computer into a web-server in which you can host both websites, chats and file transfers.

Once you launched the Opera Unite service, you can try out some of the ready made features, but the people at opera also offer the possibility to roll up your sleeves and start developing your own set(s) of tools.

So what does this add to the already existing landscape of apps? To my knowledge it will give me the possibility of instantaneously starting up a learner group, keep in touch with people I need to work with closely and within the 'natural' environment of the web. And of course Google comes close, but lets face it ... this is Opera, jeej!

Although Opera mentions that the Unite server does not have trouble with firewall settings, I have not tried it thoroughly enough, but it does seem to live up to that claim.

In a nutshell you can see how they promote their general launch in this post. I only started it, exchanged some files and photos and I must say it works swiftly and quick. At first glance, I like it!