New Snapshot of Opera 11.10 Released: Makes Speed Dial Fluid

Speed Dial is undoubtedly one of the most loved features in Opera. It’s also probably the most emulated. Opera first added speed dial back in 2007, to provide a convenient and quick way to access the most frequently visited websites. Since then we have seen Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and others implement variants of this feature.

In the meanwhile, Opera worked on improving speed dial by adding support for background images, customization options, and wide-screen resolution support. Now, the veteran browser maker says that it is ready to take speed dial to the next level. “We are going to make Speed Dial more fluid, dynamic and easier to use”, Cezary KuÅ‚akowski from Opera Software wrote on the Desktop Team blog.

The just released snapshot of Barracuda (Opera 11.10) provides a first look at the planned changes by introducing the new “flow layout”. To be honest, as of now, the new flow layout doesn’t do anything earth-shattering. It just makes the speed dial behave a lot more like a webpage. If the browser window is resized, then instead of your speed dials being shrunk, a scrollbar will appear. Also the cap on number of speed dials is gone. Now, it seems that you can have as many visual shortcuts as you want.


The new snapshot also introduces a new “Discoverability” feature that will subtly encourage users to try new features. If done right, this can turn out to be a really smart move, as Opera has scores of awesome features, that even many old-timers aren’t aware of. Opera promises that discoverability will not be annoying or frustrating. However, I couldn’t check it out as till now I haven’t managed to figure out the three features that were added to discoverability. Let me know if you guys fare better.

The snapshot is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. However, don’t forget that this is an early preview build, and is likely to have stability and performance issues.

[ Download Opera 11.10 Barracuda Snapshot ]

Update: I spotted one of the “discoverability” tips. It was simply a tip regarding using “+g” for performing a Google Search using the URL bar. I must say that the tip was extremely well integrated into the interface, and wasn’t awkward or annoying in anyway.

Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" Alpha Available for Downloads, It’s Really Fast

After releasing Opera 11, the team at Opera are working hard to push for the next release touted as Opera 11.10 "Barracuda"; named after a fish known for its large size and fearsome appearance. Today, the team have released the first snapshot of the latest version.

Opera 11.10 Barracuda

Don’t get put off by the large size of the fish though. My first impression was something that I have hardly seen with browsers. The installation of Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" was blazing fast, it hardly took 10 seconds, this is not the case for other browsers.

Opera 11.10 Alpha

Other than that I found an improved experience in browsing webpages and watching videos including videos. There aren’t any more visible changes with this build and it does support Opera extensions as in Opera 11.

In this release, Opera has upgraded Core from version 2.7.62 to 2.8.99 which includes the implementation of the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) which is a font format for use in web pages. The new format hasn’t been ratified by the W3C yet, but once it is done, it will become the interoperable font format which will be supported by all browsers.

In addition to that, there are several other changes in this build, which include:

  • Disable Cookie2 by default, with an option to enable it again
  • Send more compatible Accept header on second request
  • Disable TLS 1.1 and 1.2 by default
  • Make sure redirects from http to https are labeled secure
  • Remove the use of master password for client certificates
  • Added a preference to disable cross-network protection

The Alpha release of Opera 11.10 "Barracuda" is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/FreeBSD. You can download the files from the links below.

Alpha software is usually not advisable to install for regular users, however, unlike other browsers, you can install multiple version of Opera on your PC. Each version has their own profile, better still you can just install Opera as a Portable Software. I am still using the browser to find what improvements have been made over Opera 11. Will do a review of the Alpha release soon.

Opera 11.01 Released, Fixes Critical Security Vulnerability

Opera Opera’s customary point release to tidy things up is here. Opera 11.01, which was released earlier today, includes critical security patches, much needed stability updates, and a few other minor changes.

This build closes the security hole discovered by Vupen that could allow hackers to gain control of a user’s system. Another critical vulnerability that could be exploited to load files (with potentially confidential information) from the user’s computer as web page resources has also been patched. The security fixes in Opera 11.01 affect Windows, UNIX as well as Mac.

One of the major new features introduced in Opera 11 was visual mouse gestures. While the idea behind the feature is excellent, Opera tweaked the mouse gesture sensitivity to accommodate users unfamiliar with gestures, which peeved several experienced users. Opera 11.01 restores the old sensitivity settings for mouse gestures, while retaining the intuitiveness of visual gestures.

The nagging crashes that plagued Opera 11 also seem to have disappeared in this version. There are dozens of other minor improvements. For a detailed overview of what is new in Opera 11.01 check out the change logs for Windows, UNIX, and Mac.

[ Download Opera 11.01 for Windows, UNIX and Mac ]

Opera crosses One million Add-ons downloads in 4 days

Opera has just announced through their blog that there have been freaking one million opera add-ons downloads in just four days. That’s brilliant. Opera added add-ons to its browser since Opera 11 and that’s one of the best things happened to Opera, in my opinion.

The Incredible growth includes:
  • 1 million downloads in just 4 days.
  • 20-30 new or updated extensions uploaded each day.
  • Over 244 extensions now available!
Personally I have been keeping a close eye on the addons family since Opera 11 Beta and though the number of addons available aren’t that huge in numbers like that of Chrome browser but it has almost every add-ons  that I have been using on Chrome.

I use all the addons in the list above except for the “ Downloader”. Here are few add-ons I use that aren’t in the list above:

You can download Opera 11 to experiment with their add-ons.

Opera 11 Downloaded 6.7 Million Times on the First Day

Opera Opera has always been known for its innovation. Unfortunately, in spite of consistently delivering a fast, secure, and stable browser, Opera has always been the little guy in the browser wars. As far as desktop browsers are concerned, Opera is currently handsomely behind Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari in terms of market share. However, things are looking up for Opera.

Recently, it crossed 50 million active users, and now Opera 11 has been downloaded more than 6.7 million times within first twenty four hours of its release. This is a significant improvement over the 1.7 million downloads per day in the first week for Opera 10.10, and a huge improvement over the 1 million downloads in four days after the release of Opera 8.

According to a survey conducted on new users, 53% were coming from Firefox, while 43% were coming from Internet Explorer.

Opera 11 Released: Introduces Extensions, Tab Stacking, Address Bar Tweaks and More

After a remarkably short release candidate period, Opera Software has released Opera 11, just in time for Christmas. With Opera 11, the venerable Norwegian browser maker is hoping to leapfrog its competition. Even as Mozilla has been struggling to get Firefox 4 out of the door, Opera 11 has gone from alpha to final release within just 2 months. Opera’s Haavard Moen claims that an improved development process over the past year or so has allowed developers to work on more things simultaneously without compromising stability of the main branch.

Opera 11 is a big release for Opera Software. It’s a significant step-up from the Opera 10.6 trunk and adds some meaty features to the already feature packed browser. Some of the highlights of this release are:

  • Extensions: Opera 11 introduces a new API based on the W3C widget specification. This means that you can easily develop Opera extensions using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Opera’s implementation of extensions is similar to Chrome’s. Some of them work quietly in the background, while others have a user interface that is exposed through a button. There are already close to two hundred extensions in the official extensions gallery. The most popular extensions include an ad blocker, LastPass and a YouTube video downloader.
  • Tab Stacking: Tab clutter is a problem many web-addicts have to deal with. Once you have a couple of dozen or more tabs, the utility of tabbed browsing diminishes greatly as individual tabs become practically indistinguishable. Opera is trying to solve this issue through Tab Stacking. Tab Stacking makes it possible to group tabs by simply dragging and dropping tabs on top of each other. Opera also toyed around with the idea of enabling tab stacking in one of the snapshots. However, it was dropped in subsequent builds due to numerous inconsistencies and annoyances present in the initial implementation. Opera clearly believes that tabbed stacking is the future of browsing, and has promised to refine it further in future releases.
  • Visual Mouse Gestures: Opera is one of the few browsers to ship with inbuilt support for mouse gestures. Mouse gestures is the killer feature you never knew you needed. It allows you to perform actions like open links in new tab, reload, stop and close tabs with a flick of your mouse. Once you get the hang of it, you will find it hard to live without it. However, most users never discover this feature, as the only way to learn about gestures is to study the documentation or go through the Mouse gestures configuration. Opera 11 tries to fix this by introducing a slick user interface that appears on right-clicking on any portion of the page. This mouse gestures interface guides you through the basic gestures.
  • Opera-Visual-Mouse-Gestures

  • Safer and Cleaner Address Bar: Opera has tweaked the address bar to make it easier to spot phishing websites. The primary domain name is highlighted while protocols and parameters are hidden by default. It also prominently displays security information about the website you are browsing.
  • Opera-11-Address-Bar

  • On-demand Plugin Loading: Now, it is possible to have Opera load plugins like Flash and Silverlight only when required. This actually acts as a very nifty flashblock, as flash videos are blocked by default, and can be loaded individually.

Other Changes include

  • New app-tab mode that shrinks and shifts pinned tabs to the left.
  • Inbuilt support for Google Suggest.
  • Improved rendering engine (presto).
  • New Mail panel.
  • New Bookmarks bar.
  • Support for WebSockets (disabled due to security concerns).


You can download Opera 11 for Windows, UNIX and Mac from

Opera 11 Beta Released: Introduces Tab Stacking and More

Opera is one of the pioneers of tabbed browsing. It might not have been the first tabbed browser, but many of the features we see in current tabbed browsers were first seen in Opera. With every major new version, Opera has continued to enhance its already refined tabbed browsing interface. They introduced “Trash Can” (recycle bin for closed tabs) in version 8, tab thumbnails in version 9, and visual tabs in version 10. Opera 11 upholds this tradition with the introduction of “Tab stacking”.

Opera: Pioneer of Tabbed Browsing

Opera 11 Beta has just been released. Most of the new features like visual mouse gestures, smarter address bar and improved mail panel, were previewed in the recent snapshot builds. Check out our earlier coverage for a low-down on these features.

Opera 11: Visual Mouse Gestures

Opera 11: Enhanced Address Bar

The surprise new feature is the aforementioned tab stacking. Tab stacking allows you to group tabs by simply dragging and dropping them on top of each other. Users can look into the contents of a group by either hovering the mouse over a group (which triggers a thumbnail preview of all the tabs in the group), or by clicking the tiny arrow next to each group’s button. By the way, don’t yet try to directly stack two tabs residing in different windows. I tried it thrice, and Opera crashed right away on each occasion.

Opera 11: Tab Stacking

“Tabs are the most popular feature in browsers today,” said Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products, Opera. “Because so many of us wrestle with tens or even hundreds of open tabs, we needed a way to simplify tab management. Just like stacking papers for future reference, stacking your tabs is an intuitive way to organize and collect your open Web pages.”

Opera 11: Tab Stacking (Thumbnail Preview)

Opera 11: Tab Stacking (Expanded)

Opera 11 Beta introduces further refinements to Opera extensions, which were introduced in Opera 11 Alpha. Currently, Opera has 131 extensions, which have been downloaded over 500,000 times, with ten to twenty extensions being submitted for approval every day. If you are an Opera 11 user, check out some of our favorite extensions over here.

[ Download Opera 11 Beta ]

Opera 11: Tab Stacking Introduction

New Snapshot of Opera 11 Introduces Smarter Address Bar and Visual Mouse Gestures

Almost a month has passed since the release of Opera 11 for desktop (Windows, UNIX and Mac), which finally introduced extensions to the venerable browser, and added some other nifty features like the mail panel. In the meantime, Opera Software has released multiple snapshots with further improvements, and more than a hundred extensions have been submitted to Opera’s official extensions gallery.

Earlier today, the Norwegian browser maker released, what is perhaps the most significant build since the original Opera 11 alpha. The new build fixes a hefty number of bugs, while improving Opera’s extensions API. The most significant changes are:

i) Improved Address Bar: Chrome has already succeeded in redefining the web-browser UI (user interface). It was the first browser to get rid of the complicated menu structure, and merge the tab bar with the address bar. Opera Software implemented this in Opera 10.5. Now, they have taken another leaf out of Chrome’s book to simplify the address bar. The new address bar hides parameters in URL and the protocol prefix (http://, ftp:// etc.), and highlights the main domain name when not in focus. It also prominently displays security information about the website currently open. While some advanced users might be turned off by the new address bar’s tendency to hide URL parameters, the purpose behind this move is clear. Opera Software wants to make it as easy as possible for novice web surfers to spot phishing sites.


ii) New Mouse Gesture UI: Opera was the first browser to add mouse gesture support (with Opera 5 released in 2000), and is still one of the few browsers to offer it out of the box. Mouse Gestures is a brilliantly addictive and useful feature that improves productivity by enabling the user to perform common tasks with a flick of his mouse. Unfortunately, most users aren’t even aware that this feature exists, and even those that are aware, use very few basic gestures. The latest snapshot introduces a new UI that pops up when you right click and hold the mouse for a while (provided that you have enabled Mouse Gestures). This UI guides you through some simple gestures that you are likely to find very handy.


iii) Improved Mail Panel: The newly introduced mail panel has been refined to make to make it more pleasant both visually and in terms of usability.

You can download the latest snapshot from Opera’s Desktop Team blog. However, keep in mind that this is preview build, and has some known (and possibly several unknown) issues.

Top Extensions for Opera 11

has always been a browser with a small (as compared to or ) but devoted following that keeps increasing with each iteration of their browser. While their simple mobile version of the browser (Opera Mini) is vastly popular they never saw a similar growth in the desktop market. The folks at Opera Inc. thought it was probably due to the unavailability of Extensions for their browser, and so they added the extensibility of extensions in Opera 11.

So without further ado, here’s a look at the top extensions for Opera 11.


NoAds: NoAds is a NoScript + AdBlock extension. In the words of its creator NoAds = (NoScript + AdBlock)/2. It blocks 99% of scripts on a site that originate from a different domain, blocks text ads and you can even import subscriptions from AdBlock as well as EHH! No more ads.

FastestTube - YouTube Video Downloader

FastestTube: This simple and sweet extension just adds a drop-down menu on any YouTube video page where you can download the video that is playing in many formats. There are some minor problems with the integration with Redirect to HTTPS videos, but that should be fixed shortly.


Reddited: Are you an avid Redditor? Do you scramble up to submit a page to Reddit only to find that it’s already been linked to? Do you hang your head in defeat and rage at the trolls that are laughing at you? Then this is the extension for you. All it does is tell you if the page you’re looking at has been reddited or not. If it has been submitted, it shows you the comment count on the link as well.

Translate Extension

Translate: If you’re one of those anime fans without a drop of Japanese within you, or if you’re the newshound who has to go to various foreign-language sites for news then this extension will do you a world of good. Translate auto-magically detects the language of the page you’re currently working on and will offer to translate the entire page for you. Built on top of Google Translate framework, the translation, although slightly grammatically off, works and works well.

Opera Mini Simulator

Opera Mini Simulator: This one is for the web developers. The add-on loads your focused tab as how it would look under the Opera Mini environment. Though a little slow when simulating, the add-on is quite useful for mobile developers.

GMail [iOS mode]

Gmail [iOS Mode]: Don’t want to wait for the Gmail page to open when all you need is to know if you have unread mail or not? Enter the Gmail [iOS Mode] extension that changes the UserAgent of Opera to an iOS device’s. So you can use the slick and lean Gmail interface on your desktop browser itself!

Do you have any favorite Opera Extensions? Do feel free to share them with me through your comments.

How To Block Flash Videos in Opera

One of the most popular extensions for Firefox is Flashblock, which prevents flash and shockwave files from being automatically loaded. There have been quite a few ways to achieve the same in Opera, however all of them required some effort on the user’s behalf. The good news is that with Opera 11, this feature is now baked right into the browser.

Related: How To Install Opera in Portable Mode

To block flash and other plugin driven content (other embedded video files, Silverlight files etc.), simply open up Opera’s “Preferences” dialogue box (Alt+P), and browse to the “Content” tab. From here, check the “Enable plug-ins only on demand” box.


Once this option is enabled, Opera will stop loading plug-in driven content automatically. However, you can still load/play the flash videos you want by clicking on the play button (see the screenshot).