A heart-y cheer for Opera 23 for Windows and Mac

As the temperatures in Norway and Poland start to soar to double digits, we’re pleased to release the finalized version of Opera 23 for Windows and Mac.

The most visible change in Opera 23 is the heart icon in the combined search and address bar. Previously, Opera’s heart icon meant “add to Stash”. But, when we talked to users, they told us they were confused about the icons in address bar and didn’t know how to turn on the bookmarks bar.

Now, click the heart and you can decide whether to add the page to Stash, the bookmarks bar or Speed Dial. If you add something to the bookmarks bar for the first time, the bar will be enabled automatically.
heart-menu-opera-for-desktop

Remember that you can right-click on the bookmarks bar to create a folder.
addfolder-bookmarks-bar-opera

We know that using the heart icon adds an extra click. We’re continuing to refine the heart menu and will add more bookmarking and bookmark management functionality in future releases.

From our discussions, we know that many of you have your browser open all day for email, writing documents, watching movies and playing games. Therefore, it’s vital Opera doesn’t crash just before you kill that alien, dry your eyes at the lovely movie finale (sob) or send that brilliant idea to your boss. So, under the hood, we’ve improved the browser’s stability to prevent crashes if a plug-in freezes or crashes.

Thank you for using our fast, beautiful browser. If you’re anxious to see what’s coming next, by all means download Opera Next or Opera Developer. Opera Next includes all the newest feature that will make it into the stable stream, but may be a bit buggy. With Opera Developer, you get to see and test out all of our experiments as we create them. These builds live side by side with your main browser and won’t overwrite your stable install. Linux users can check out our early Developer version of Opera for Linux.

Full changelog is available here.

Opera Next 23.0.1522.58 update

Today we have an update of Opera Next for you. The most important thing in this build is updated Chromium, which is now version 36.0.1985.125. Other changes include cosmetical changes among Speed Dial and some opera://flags polishing. As always, changes are available in the changelog.

Download:
Opera Next for Windows
Opera Next for Mac

Or go here for offline installation:
Opera Next offline package for windows

Full changelog

Opera Developer 24: Important fixes for H.264, tab previews and HiDPI

Today, we move the Developer stream to 24.0.1558.3. This time we haven’t added any new features, but we applied a few fixes to those which were presented last time. As the title suggests, we improved H.264 playback, HiDPI-display support and our new method of previewing tabs, among many more fixes. You can find the details in our changelog.

Mac improvements

Fixed the most frequent crashers on OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Linux improvements

Fixed OpenSSL errors on non Debian-based distros (this also fixes WebRTC).

Downloads:

Full changelog

Opera Developer 24: Changes to tab preview and HTML5 H.264 video support

Today, we have a couple of interesting updates in this Developer build. We tweaked how the browser previews tabs, so the UI works better, feel faster and is less likely to get in the way. Additionally, this build enables H.264 support for Windows (further work will be needed before it is available for the other desktop platforms).

Why we introduced the large previews

The primary advantages of a large tab preview are to help visually locate a specific tab and quickly check on a dynamically updating tab’s contents (e.g., Gmail or Twitter), without losing track of the page you are currently viewing.

These benefits are really for users working with large numbers of unorganized tabs. You, like many of us at Opera, might have a ton of tabs open for any number of reasons: opening multiple articles from the same website site, comparing pricing from several online stores, and the like. We hope that our preview changes will allow you to handle greater numbers of tabs effectively.

On the flip side, we realize that with very few tabs, the titles and positions are enough for most people to locate quickly and switch between their open tabs. This can also hold true for users with quite a few tabs, if the person is always well structured and keeps their tabs well organized.

With our previews, we hope to assist those who work with many, many open tabs, without intruding on the experience of those who don’t. The previews should not get in the way or be distracting when working with well-structured or limited numbers of tabs. It’s an experiment, so be sure to let us know what you think.

Changes to the previews

We decided to turn off previews for tabs when using keyboard shortcuts. In our current implementation, the preview does not assist in locating tabs or checking on them, since you are committed to the change on release of the control key.

We tweaked the timing, too. The timing for the initial display of preview (600 milliseconds) will not begin until the cursor comes to a complete stop. We no longer restart this timer when mousing over the active tab or when closing a tab and another moves into its place. We also sped up some of the animations.

Finally, we added two settings to the Preferences page: a general control that allows you to disable the entire preview feature and a power-user setting that allows you to tweak the initial timeout to a value of your choice.

If you do tweak the timeout value, please give us feedback as to why you felt it needed changing, what you changed it to and if you use a mouse or a touchpad.

H.264 video support

This build introduces support for H.264 video playback on Windows. H.264 video is widely used on the internet, and we don’t want you to miss out on any of this content. If you know of sites that use H.264 video and you use the Windows platform, please try Opera on those sites and let us know how it performs.

Occasionally, YouTube sends H.264 video content to its users, particularly so if they have opted in via www.youtube.com/html5. However, not all YouTube videos use the H.264 codec. You can check this by right-clicking on the video and (if available) looking at “Stats for Nerds” menu item. This will allow you to see which codec you are using.

Downloads:

Full changelog

Opera Next 23.0.1522.43 sunshine update

Here’s another Opera Next update, straight from sunny (finally!) Oslo this time. As you can see from the changelog we’ve fixed a few more bugs and tweaked the heart design slightly (now with an added hover effect). We have also updated to Chromium 36.0.1985.103.

Download:
Opera Next for Windows
Opera Next for Mac

Or go here for offline installation:
Opera Next offline package for windows

Full changelog

Opera Next 23.0.1522.28 update

Let’s start the new week with the fresh Opera Next build. It’s not as exciting as the last week updates on our Developer channel, but it brings several fixes that will increase the stability of our browser. Among changes there are some crashers fixed and improved translations. For the detailed list of issues head on to the changelog. Have fun testing!

Download:
Opera Next for Windows
Opera Next for Mac

Or go here for offline installation:
Opera Next offline package for windows

Full changelog

Opera Developer 24: Tab preview

You already got a sneak peek (pun intended) of the feature I’ll be announcing in this blog post. However, along with Mac support here is the official feature introduction.

Remember the survey about tab improvements we asked you to fill out? Thank you for participating. With Opera Developer 24 we now introduce tab preview.

Tab preview

Too many tabs opened? Tab preview helps you open the tab you’re looking for because it gives you a peek into each page, making it easier for you to switch from tab to tab.

It also helps you manage your browsing time better. You can, for example, look at the preview of your Google Mail or Facebook wall without actually switching to that tab.

You activate it by hovering over a tab or by switching tabs using the keyboard. Try it, we think using it feels natural. Does it get in the way? When and how? If it does, please tell us! Please include details on your input device (mouse, trackpad, etc.)

High DPI support

We’re also happy to announce that Opera now looks nice and crisp on high DPI (low physical dimensions, high resolution) displays. Updated visuals are enabled by default if you happen to own such display device. Don’t forget to report any visual/usability issues you may encounter!

Known issues:

  • Freeze on some Adobe Flash videos with HiDPI enabled
  • Printing broken on Windows

Downloads:

Full changelog

Opera Next 23.0.1522.24 update

Good day!
I hope you were as excited as us from yesterday’s announcement.
After yesterday’s Opera for Linux release, here’s a quick update to the Opera Next stream for Windows and Mac. Opera 23 is getting closer and closer to going stable and here is our latest build with stability fixes.

Highlights

  • Translated strings for Opera 23
  • Opera crashes on disabling extensions
  • Fixed an issue with Speed Dial extensions not displaying content on opera://startpage

Download:
Opera Next for Windows
Opera Next for Mac
(Linux available from version 24 and newer.)

Or go here for offline installation:
Opera Next offline package for windows

Full changelog

Opera 24 for Linux released on the Developer stream

We’ve said many times that when a Linux version is ready, we’d let you know. Today, we’re delighted to announce our first Chromium-based Linux version is ready for download on our Developer stream. Go ahead and download Opera Developer 24 for Linux.

Opera 24 Linux

Many of us at Opera use Linux as our primary platform. It’s great to be able to try out the newest developments of Opera on Linux once again.

Adding Linux to our browser line fulfills an important part of Opera’s vision to shape an open, connected world. We want everyone to have fast and safe access to the web. Adding Linux opens up that possibility to more machines running the open-source operating system.

Linux is highly secure and performs well, even on machines with limited memory or suboptimal hardware. Not all of us can afford the latest Mac or Windows machines, not all of us want proprietary operating systems, and some of us simply love using Linux. But, everyone agrees that they should have access to a beautiful browser.

Now, Linux users around the globe can get the newest Opera features, including:

- Discover
- Stash
- A wide selection of extensions and themes

… not to mention the vastly improved Speed Dial and Opera Turbo.

To provide the highest quality, we’ve been testing on one particular platform right now – Ubuntu Linux 64-bit with Unity or Gnome Shell. It may work on other platforms, but that’s not guaranteed. As our development progresses, we’ll look into other potential platforms to support.

Releasing to the Developer stream means that all the usual considerations regarding Developer builds also apply to this one. With all that said, many of us have been using Opera for Linux as our default browser, and find it to be pretty robust.

Take it for a spin and tell us if anything breaks. We hope you enjoy using it.

Cheers!

- All of us on the Desktop team

P.S.: You may notice changes to how tabs behave on Windows and Linux. We’ll post more details about this tab improvement soon, along with Mac support information. For now, let’s keep the discussion about Linux.

Known issues

  • Linux start-up crash if Google Chrome, Chromium, or derivatives is the user’s default browser

Downloads

Full changelog