Opera 23 features startup improvements, hearts menu and PPAPI Plugin support

Martin Brinkmann
May 21, 2014

The last couple of months have not really be that exciting for Opera browser users. While Opera Software released new versions of the browser regularly, most releases were rather uneventful in terms of features that the company added to the browser.

A lot of features that made the original Opera browser great -- original meaning Opera 12.x and previous -- are not available in the newer Chromium-based Opera browser.

The company released a new developer version of Opera today. With it come several new changes that many users will likely find useful.

Opera Developer is the cutting edge version of the browser comparable to Firefox Nightly and Google Chrome Canary.

Opera Developer 23.0.1508.0 contains a bunch of fixes and the following set of new features.

The feature that excites me the most is a new option to delay the loading of background tabs on Opera startup. You can enable the feature in Opera 23 in the following way:

  1. Load the address opera://settings/ in the browser.
  2. If you do not have advanced settings enabled scroll all the way down and check the "show advanced settings" preference on the page. If you have it enabled, skip the step.
  3. Find the "On startup" group of preferences on the page near the top and check the "delay loading of background tabs" option here.

delay loading background tabs

Side Tip: Firefox has had a similar option for some time. Type about:preferences in the browser's address bar, switch to the tabs tab, and select "don't load tabs until selected" for that. Chrome delays the loading by a bit but does not offer native options to not load tabs until selected.

If you look at the screenshot, you see the new heart symbol on the right of the browser's address bar. Opera Software has combined three options into one here. When you click on the heart, it displays the following options:

  1. Add page to Speed Dial.
  2. Add page to Stash.
  3. Add page to bookmarks bar.

If you select either one of those, the heart turns red indicating that you have saved the url to the browser. When you click on it again, you get the option to add the page to the two locations you have not added it to yet, or to remove it from the selected location again.


Another change affects secure websites that load contents from insecure websites. This is known as mixed content and from Opera 23 on blocked by Opera by default. What is meant by this is that the content loaded from http is blocked while the content loaded from https sources is displayed fine.

Opera highlights that with a blocked content notice on the right of the address bar and a blocked symbol there as well. You can click on the icon for an explanation and option to unblock the content so that the site is displayed just fine.

opera blocked insecure content

The browser supports Pepper (PPAPI) plugins now and while none are loaded right now in the browser, it is likely that this is soon going to happen according to Opera Software.

Google Chrome's Adobe Flash plugin is likely the most prominent example of a PPAPI plugin right now. No word on whether Google Chrome PPAPI plugins will be picked up by Opera eventually.

Plugin related as well are better crash and freezing information. While I cannot say how those look like, Opera Software notes that users can now disable slow responding plugins or reload pages.

In other news, no sign yet of a Linux version. (via Deskmodder)

Opera 23 features startup improvements, hearts menu and PPAPI Plugin support
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Opera 23 features startup improvements, hearts menu and PPAPI Plugin support
Opera 23 ships with a new set of features including delayed loading of tabs on startup to speed up the startup process and support for PPAPI plugins.

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  1. guest said on May 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    > The feature that excites me the most is a new option to delay the loading of background tabs

    The feature which the rest of us are waiting for is the option to prevent the loading of background tabs until the tab is selected. Today is the fourth anniversary of this post, and we are still waiting…

  2. Guest said on July 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Umm hello? They added delayed tab loading. This was a huge roadblocker that was preventing me from using Opera. This isn’t a small update, this is pretty awesome. Have you seen the changelog? There’s quite a lot of under-the-hood changes. The new Opera is finally semi-decent again. I’d pick it over any other Chromium spinoff now, even over Google Chrome.

  3. Shadess said on May 24, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Good on the PPAPI thing, that will be a really nice thing.

    Otherwise this release just shows how nonsensical Opera development has been for chr0pera,

    They had 2 separate icons before: one to add to speeddial and one add to stash and “bookmarks” you could add by ctrl+d. Now they’ve put them under 1 icon. Wow. So someone removed 1 icon and made a menu under the old stash icon. Seriously, that is making 3 menu items for triggering things they already had in the browser, so nothing basically. That should be something a summer trainee does in less than an hour. Now that passes off as an actual feature they tell people. Goddamnit opera.

    Also if this was old Opera I could have removed the 2 icons and added one back MYSELF. Now for example if I want to have a specific extensions icon in a certain place I have to activate the extensions in order. 0 moddability in the new Opera.

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