Author: Ruarí Ødegaard

About Ruarí Ødegaard

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

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

Opera 22 moves on to Next, bringing new themes and seamless updates

Today Opera 22 moves from Developer to the Next channel. This follows more than a month of hard work ironing out issues to bring 22 up to beta quality.

Silent, smaller updates

On Windows our new silent update allows for a more seamless update to the latest version. There are no buttons to click and no UAC (User Account Control) dialog interrupting your workflow. You will be automatically updated to ensure you always have the most recent and most secure Opera version.

The first two updates from Opera Next 21 to Opera Next 22 will still show the UAC but from this point onwards it will be a thing of the past!

In addition to removing this distracting dialog the autoupdate packages will now be sent to you in the form of a patch instead of a full package, whenever possible, which means that updating Opera uses even less bandwidth. In you want to read more about these technologies and how they work, read Julien’s developer blog post.

Mac users needn’t feel left behind. In fact Mac might be left wondering what this mysterious update authentication dialog because Mac already updates silently. With regards to the smaller, patch updates, this time we will assess it with Windows first.

New Themes

New 22 Themes A fresh new Opera deserves a fresh new look and so we have updated our pre-installed themes. You can switch between the new themes from the “Opera Menu → Themes” on Windows and “View → Show Themes” on Mac.

We spent some time selecting the new themes that compliment the Opera UI beautifully. However if you would like an even bigger selection, drop by the Themes section of the Opera add-ons site. Remember that you can also set any image you find online as a theme, simply by right clicking on it and selecting “Use Image as Theme”.

Let the testing begin!

With the move to the Next stream our stabilisation efforts are already well underway. However we will now take it up a notch with your help. Please mention any new issues you see. We are particularly interested in regressions for working behaviour in Opera 21 stable.

Downloads

Full changelog

Aura-powered Opera 21 for desktop computers released today

opera_for_desktop_computers
The Windows and Mac versions of Opera make for a fast, safe and fun web browsing experience. Our latest offering is Opera 21. If you are already running Opera you will receive an update automatically. If you are new, you can download Opera for Windows here or Opera for Mac here.

So what’s new?

Aura

With Opera 21 we made the jump to using Aura, a technology that allows us to hardware-accelerate the entire browser, including the user interface.

The team here put a lot of effort into getting Aura to work properly with Opera and the benefits are already paying off. Aura allows for smoother, snappier animations with a more responsive feel. So far, we have only scratched the surface of this technology, and Opera 21’s primary intention was to get Aura working and stable. In the future, you will see further benefits as it allows us to give everything that little extra bit of polish!

Opera for Mac does not use Aura but Mac users needn’t worry. Our Mac version makes use of Apple Core Animation technology to enable us to achieve the same snazzy effects.

Address field option

This feature might seem small but we feel we should highlight it, as it has often been requested. We now provide an option to make Opera persistently show a page’s complete URL in the address field.

Why hadn’t we done this before? For most users, our simplified URL field is the best option. We have removed all of the distracting clutter, focusing on the most important information (the domain) and use a small badge to show a page’s security. Doing so helps users to quickly and simply identify that the site that they are browsing is the one they expect. It makes it a lot harder for the bad guys to trick you!

Opera 21 Default URL

For more technical users who need to quickly see the entire URL at a glance, go to “Settings | Advanced: Show always full URL in address field” to view all of that “important” information.

Opera 21 Full URL

Key fixes and improvements

  • Updated Chromium to 34.0.1847.132 for even better site compatibility.
  • Opera will now scale with screens that use 200% DPI setting in Windows. No more tiny fonts!
  • We have reworked our Mac keyboard handling slightly to allow for better support of web apps such as Google Docs and GitHub.
  • Off-Road mode (Opera Turbo) is explained when it is enabled.

For a full list of all the hundreds of changes, improvements and fixes, refer to the Opera 21 Changelog. Beware, it is long!

Download Opera for Windows  /  Download Opera for Mac

Opera Developer 22!

Today marks the first release of Opera Developer 22. For this initial developer release our primary focus has been on backend changes to ready ourselves for future improvements in the UI and elsewhere.

Nonetheless, 22 is a major update and includes hundreds of bug fixes, crash fixes and site rendering improvements (see our changelog for the full list).

In addition some UI improvements are already visible, such as a new Encoding Menu, an update to our default themes and a better (silent) update process on Windows. Our new silent update allows for a more seamless update to the latest version. There are no buttons to click and no UAC (User Account Control) dialog interrupting your workflow. You will be automatically updated to ensure you always have the most recent and most secure Opera version.

Note: This build will not silently update, that will happen from the next Developer release.

Thanks again for your testing and feedback, which is (as always) greatly appreciated!

Highlights

  • Update to Chromium 35.0.1883.0
  • Silent update
  • New default themes
  • Encoding menu

Downloads

Full changelog