Author: Ruarí Ødegaard

About Ruarí Ødegaard

Working at Opera since January 2009. Currently I am team lead for our Mac and Linux desktop browsers.

Update to Opera developer 26.0.1656.5

Today, we released another update to Opera 26 on our development stream. The biggest change is an update to Chromium (39.0.2171.2). On the UI side, there are no major changes. We are applying the finishing touches to move version 26 to the beta stream. This also means that 27 is on its way!

The Chromium update may have a knock-on effect for some Linux users who wish to play patent-encumbered HTML5 audio and video (MP3/H.264). If you need some help getting these working, these notes should assist you.

Known issue

  • Mac makes unwanted noises when starting to play H.264 videos on Yosemite (this is unrelated to the FFmpeg update in Chromium).

Changelog and download links

Full changelog

List tabs, preview printed pages in this Opera developer update

Today, we have an interesting new build for those of you following the developer stream. New features include: a tab list menu, print previews, and more data import options.

View your tabs as a list

Tab Menu

Our tab menu provides an alternative way to view your tabs, showing them as a list to the right of your screen. If you keep many tabs open, this should help you find the tab you’re looking for or decide where you want to go next.

Now:

  • Page titles are easier to read when many tabs are open.
  • The tab menu is keyboard-accessible. For instance, use Ctrl+K (⌘+K on Mac) to open the menu, the arrow keys to highlight an entry, and Enter to focus a tab. Esc will close the menu.
  • The list works in conjunction with the tab-preview option, providing a tab cycler that can be used with your mouse or keyboard.
  • The list is accessible via fullscreen mode (a.k.a. presentation mode for the Mac users out there) to make tab switching and selection easier for those who like minimal UI.

Preview pages before you print

Opera now includes a built-in print previewer, so you can see how a page will look before wasting paper.

Print Preview

Import browser data silently consciously

Some time ago, we decided to add silent import to assist our new users. After feedback from this blog, we never introduced the feature into the Opera beta or stable streams. Rather, we gave it a second look. Today, we are bringing the feature back as part of the installation process, but it’s not silent anymore.

You can decide what you like. Just select proper check-box in the installer:

installer-options

In addition, we have moved two questions from the main application to the installer to avoid overwhelming users with too many sliding toolbars:

  • Make Opera the default browser
  • Share usage data to help improve Opera

Import bookmarks and settings

In the previous blog post, I neglected to mention our new importing options. Be sure to check them out if you are switching from another browser and want to retain your old data.

User import Screen

Known issue

  • Rapidly moving around in the tab menu can cause high CPU and a crash

Changelog and download links

Full changelog

FAQ about Opera syncing

We have no release today. Instead, here is a quick follow up to previous developer release, which prompted quite a few questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is synced data stored?

All synced data is stored on Opera-controlled servers.

What data is synced?

At this stage we are only syncing bookmarks. In the future, it is likely that we will sync further information. As many of you have already noticed, we have a flag to synchronize open tabs (currently disabled by default).

Are my synced bookmarks encrypted?

Everything is encrypted in transit between client and server. However, non-login data is not stored encrypted on the servers. If we later decide to sync sensitive private data, such as passwords, we will encrypt that as well.

How do synced bookmarks relate to bookmarks saved via Opera Link?

Any data you have synchronized in Opera 12 is still available on the Opera Link web interface. Additionally, bookmarks from Opera 12 installations can be imported locally via our bookmark import tool.

Can the accounts button be hidden?

The accounts button allows you to access our new syncing feature. There’s more in store for syncing data in Opera, so stay tuned for future releases.

How does this new feature relate to the previous syncing experiment?

The previous experiment (introduced in Opera Developer 19.0.1324.0) has been discontinued and replaced with this new implementation.

Opera developer now includes bookmark syncing and native Mac popover dialogs

Today marks the start of the return of syncing between Opera browsers. With the latest Opera developer release, you’ll be able to keep track of your bookmarks between computers. In addition, we have made improvements to popover dialogs on Mac.

Synced bookmarks

Syncing has been a long-requested feature from readers of this blog; and, today, we’re happy to announce the first instalment of syncing your Opera browsers. We have enabled the syncing of bookmarks. To start syncing your bookmarks, click on the account icon to the right of the address field, and sign in using your Opera account.

Mac improvements

Our various popover dialogs had started to look a little dated on recent versions of Mac OS, so we have been updating them in the run up to the Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) release. They are now positioned by the OS, which means a ton of positioning kinks have been worked out and you get to see those fancy Mac animations. In Yosemite, they look fantastically “vibrant”. ;)

Known issues

  • Mac crashes when the download dialog is accessed from multiple windows

Changelog and download links

Full changelog

Opera developer updates to 26 and introduces bookmarks sharing

Today Opera developer updates to 26 (and Chromium 39.0.2145.4) and includes new bookmark sharing functionality. As always, we also included many bug fixes and other improvements. More details can be found in the changelog.

Bookmarks sharing

In Opera 25, we introduced a new visually-orientated bookmark manager. For Opera 26, we wanted to take things a step further and make it easier for you to share your bookmark collections. A new “Share” button appears within folders, allowing you to quickly and easily share their contents.

This leads to many possibilities. In the past, you could have shared a birthday wish list from one website with a friend. Now your list can spread across multiple shopping sites. Trying to book airline tickets for a romantic week away? Create a list of options from across airlines and share them with your partner. Found some funny cat videos but they are all hosted on different websites? Add them all to a bookmark folder, hit the share link and pass them on.

Just like our internal bookmarks, our shared collections have nice visual previews. You can also import collections that others have shared, straight into Opera (just click on the “Add to Bookmarks” button). In addition you can also send these collections to people using other browsers, so you can share with your less-enlightened friends and colleagues! ;) Though sadly they will not be able to import them with a single click. If they want to do that, tell them to use Opera.

So, get to sharing content with your friends and let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments below!

Known issues

  • The print dialog does not work
  • Scrolling performances issue inside internal pages
  • Mac crashes quite often (we have already narrowed down the issue and it should be fixed in the next developer build)

Changelog and download links

Full changelog

Mac goes to 64-bits, with Opera developer 25 update

Today’s release of Opera developer 25 includes some interesting changes for Mac. We’ve made the move to 64-bit and have also enabled H.264 video support. We would also like to ask for more feedback on our new Speed Dial, something many of you picked up on in our previous developer release.

As always, a complete list of changes can be found in the changelog.

Start page changes

We have recently begun experimenting with a fresh, new look for Speed Dial. Please try it out and let us know what you think.

The right time to switch Mac to 64-bit

We held off on switching Mac to 64-bit until the benefits outweighed the downsides. Today, we think we have reached that milestone. Some of the changes that allowed us to make the switch include:

  • New 64-bit only API possibilities, with the upcoming release of Yosemite
  • Speed and security improvements – find out more on the Chromium blog
  • H.264 video now enabled on Mac, to support the transition from plug-ins
  • No new bugs (we hope!) :)

Notes

  • H.264 video support is only available for Opera users on Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and above (WebM video continues to work for all users)
  • Like Apple themselves, we no longer support Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

If you do run an older version of Mac OS, remember that OS X 10.9 is a free upgrade for users currently on 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8.

Update: Sharing

If you have been waiting to try our new experimental bookmark sharing, now is your chance to do so. We have just made our sharing server live. If you want to try out bookmark sharing, enable the opera://flags/#bookmarks-sharing flag. Feel free to give us feedback below but remember this is still at very early stage. We will give you more information, in a later blog post.

Changelog and download links

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 Developer 24: Pepper Flash is coming to Opera

Today we move the developer stream to 24.0.1534.0. We have several interesting changes for this version lined up, which we will announce over the coming weeks. To kickstart 24, our first big change is support for automatic loading of Pepper (PPAPI) Flash.

Introducing Pepper Flash

Pepper Flash allows for a more stable method of running Flash, since each plugin is sandboxed. Opera has been working with Adobe to provide a PPAPI-based Flash solution for Opera users. This effort is not yet complete. Further work will be needed from both Opera and Adobe before Pepper Flash will be available to all, out of the box.

Testing the Flash 14 Beta

If you would like to try the work in progress, head over to Adobe Labs Downloads and grab the appropriate Flash 14 Beta package. Currently, Pepper Flash is only available for Windows but the code is in place for this to work on Mac as well.

Private Mode

One small visual change you might notice on Windows is that the main window is darker when running Windows in private mode.

Testing

As always with a new release, we have updated our rendering Engine. Please make sure you give this careful testing on your favorite sites and let us know if you find any issues.

Known issues

You do not need to report any of the following:

  • Icon problems with Geolocation, Microphone and Camera on Mac
  • Version 24.0.1534.2 on Mac (the changelog remains identical)
  • Search suggestions are cropped on Windows
  • There is no indicator to show which search engine is selected on Windows

Downloads

Full changelog

Opera 22 for Windows and Mac released today, with new themes and silent updates

Speed_Dial
Today, we’ve released Opera 22 for Windows and Mac – a safe and highly compatible browser that gives you one of the best experiences of the web. Not only is Opera fast and powerful, it’s also beautiful. If you’re already running Opera, you will receive this update automatically.

A new web browser with a fresh look

We have gone through considerable effort to make Opera look slick and modern, while still blending in nicely with its surroundings. Since our browser was born in Norway, we decided to take Opera’s look a step further by selecting five new, inspiring themes that showcase the local scenery. They complement Opera and add a touch of Scandinavian style to your desktop. We hope you like them as much as we do!

You can switch between these new themes by selecting Opera Menu → Themes on Windows:
win_o22_en_def_themes

Or View → Show Themes on Mac:
mac_o22_en_def_themes

For an even greater selection, drop by the themes section of the Opera add-ons site. You can also set any image you find online as a theme by right-clicking on it and selecting Use Image as Theme.

Silent, seamless updates

It’s very important to update your browser regularly, to keep you safe and secure when surfing the web. To help, Opera releases a new version every few weeks. While updating is necessary, we know how annoying it can be to have windows popping up asking for your password just to update your browser. This is especially true when you are immersed in your favorite website.

With Opera 22, we have introduced a new silent-update mechanism on Opera for Windows. This update will be the very last time you seen that irritating authentication dialog while surfing the net. From now on, you can browse away without distraction, and feel safe knowing Opera is always up to date and secure.

We have also introduced a technology to reduce the size of the updates, which means that updating Opera uses less bandwidth. If you are interested in the technical details of these installer changes, read our earlier developer blog post.

Key fixes and improvements

  • New Default themes
  • Silent updates on Windows (this will be the final release that displays the update dialog)
  • Smaller updates to conserve your bandwidth
  • Updated Chromium to 35.0.1916.114.

For the long list of changes refer to the Opera 22 Changelog.

Download Opera for Windows  /  Download Opera for Mac

Opera Developer 23: Now with Unprefixed CSS Transforms

Today we move the developer stream to 23.0.1499.0 and with it another big bump to our underlying rendering engine, allowing us to keep up to date with the latest web standards.

As our long-term users will know, standards are very important to us here at Opera. The latest example of this is that Opera 23 now supports Unprefixed CSS Transforms. Something I know that many of you have been waiting for. To ensure that we can have further such improvements, a number of our developers are currently participating in the BlinkOn 2 conference (a conference for Blink contributors). Being part of such a conference allows for the kind of collaboration that should help open the web even more.

Future improvements

I thought I would spend a moment to talk more generally about Opera for desktop computers and our development efforts. In addition to the work on 23, we have many ongoing projects to further improve your browser. For example, we currently have internal projects looking at improvements to bookmarking and even more installer work. We can’t promise you will see the results right away but don’t think for a moment we have slowed down in our efforts!

Collaboration with other browser vendors

It is not just internal work however. As mentioned above, Opera is actively working to engage in further cross collaboration. This isn’t limited just to our work on Chromium, Blink, V8. Recently some of our developers have also been working with a Mozilla technology, PDF.js. Our work on PDF.js has a little way to go and is not the only avenue we have explored. From these results however, we concluded that PDF.js is a very valid candidate to be used as the default PDF viewer in the Opera Browser.

Testing

As the first developer build for 23 and with a big bump to our rendering Engine there is always the chance that something could be broken, despite our very best efforts! Therefore, please give this release a thorough test and let us know if you find any issues.

Known issues

  • The page loading icon is in the wrong location on Windows

Downloads

Full changelog