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.