Does the average user really need "smarter news" and Netflix
recommendations? (From the blog). Same with crypto wallet access.
And we know the answer is no. But some of that— personal news— that has got to be a revenue stream for Opera— At first I thought it was going to be the dawning of a new era where users could actually have 100% control on which sources they DID NOT WANT AT ALL... but no, it quickly revealed itself to be pushing entertainment and sports at you, as well as "sources" that sound similar to MOX, which were instant deal-breakers. Very unfortunate because back in the day, Google News gave users granular controls, then, as always, they took them away.
So the idea of Opera perhaps wanting to become a differentiator and finally giving users what they want, they just had to do what they all do— which I have concluded is simply a revenue engine for them. Selling aggregated data of users to better micro-target users. Combine the aggregate web click-stream data of millions of users, plus the data that aggregates for "Personal News", Opera is probably helping to run their whole operation by this kind of scheme. It's not dishonest; I'm sure the TOS spell it all out. It's the fact that instead of getting a GREAT user benefit, like some AI learning tool that adds value to user's prefs, they gave us this junk product.
Which goes directly to your point: Why does SYNC have to starve on the vine with probably zero engineering resources dedicated to improving and updating it, while all these other "shiny object" marketing features like the list you listed are the highest engineering priorities?
I'm just expressing support for your observation: Chrome syncs extensions and themes and everything, and it is so convenient. Why can't Opera keep up? When one thinks of Norway, one thinks of core competence, operating in the interest of bettering mankind vs succumbing to USA-based marketing and consumerism as their guiding lights. Jeez, if OPERA weren't doing so many things right, i wouldn't be bothering to comment. They are SO CLOSE to having the absolute best browser on desktop, and with Opera Touch and Opera Flow, they are miles ahead.
So why can't they get the fundamentals right— like you say— what do users want and need most? SYNC.