All posts tagged ‘Opera Mini’

File Under: Browsers, HTML5, Mobile

Opera Updates Opera Mini for iPhone, Opera Mobile for Android

Opera Mini 7 on the iPhone

Opera Software has announced a slew of updates for its various mobile web browsers, including a new Opera Mini for the iPhone and Opera Mobile 12 for Android phones.

Contrary to what many may think, the real race in mobile web browsers is not between Mobile Safari and Android’s web browser, but between Mobile Safari and Opera Mobile/Mini. As we’ve mentioned before, actual mobile traffic data puts Opera just a touch ahead of Mobile Safari in the race for most-used mobile web browser.

To get the latest version of Opera Mini for the iPhone, head to the Apple App Store. The Android version of Opera Mobile 12 is available in the Android Market Place. If you’re using another platform, or have a feature phone, head to m.opera.com to download the latest release for your phone.

The latest release of the iPhone variant of Opera Mini adds several useful new features, including support for more than nine items on the Speed Dial page, support for the iPhone’s native dictionary and improved traffic compression on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Other changes include fixing a bug that prevented session restore from working properly when your battery died. For full details on everything that’s new in Opera Mini 7 for iOS, check out the release notes.

There’s also a new preview version of Opera Mini available, with support for what Opera calls “Smart Page.” Smart Page takes the idea of Opera’s Speed Dial — the “new tab” screen with your favorite sites just a click away, which has since made its way into all the major desktop browsers — and applies it to the social web. Smart Page gives feature phone users one-click access to social networks and news sites like Twitter and Facebook. For now Smart Page is only available on the feature phone version of Opera Mini Next, though the company plans to eventually include it on other phones as well.

If you’d like to take Opera Mini Next for a spin on older feature phones, point your phone to m.opera.com/next. Keep in mind that this a preview release and there may be bugs.

In addition to Opera Mini and Opera Mini Next, Opera has also released Opera Mobile 12 for Android, Symbian and other mobile platforms. This release brings WebGL support to Opera Mobile 12 on Android, which means better support for 3D and other complex web graphics. Opera’s new HTML5 parser — which we looked at in our review of Opera 11.60 for the desktop — is also included in Opera Mobile 12.

Other new features include support for the Media Capture API, which means websites can access your phone’s camera, and more options for customizing the Speed Dial (including the same increased number of Speed Dial items found in the other releases).

File Under: Browsers, Mobile

Opera Mini 5.1 Lands on Android Phones

Lovers of Droid phones and tiny browsers with superfast load times can rejoice. The Opera Mini 5.1 browser for Android phones is out of beta and is now available as a general release.

You can download it in the Android Market, or directly from Opera. If you’ve been testing the previously released beta on your Android phone, you can upgrade to the final release within the app.

The newest version of Opera’s browser adds a pinch-to-zoom feature, but it’s not as elegant as what you’d expect if you’re used to iOS apps. A pinch only zooms you into a specific content well and out to the full page. Still, it’s useful enough to say goodbye to the crude magnifying glass zoom-in-and-out behaviors, which I certainly won’t miss.

The default image quality has also been upgraded to better match the higher-resolution screens of newer phones like the HTC EVO and the Droid X. Opera serves pages to Mini users through a network of web proxy servers, and the data arrives compressed. The method speeds up page loads (especially on slow or flaky data networks), but pages come through looking a little crunchy. This update improves the low-quality image issues.

Opera released its Mini browser for iPhone in April, and it was well-received. It definitely sped up the cellular browsing experience on the iPhone for most websites. But it’s still impossible to make Opera Mini your default browser on the iPhone, and Mobile Safari (with its smooth pinch-to-zoom) has Opera beat for more complex sites and pages that require more navigation than simple scrolling.

Opera Mini for Android can be set as your default browser, and the browser also gets a session restore feature for quick recovery after crashes. There’s also a full-screen mode that does away with the chrome and fills the tiny screen with pure gold web content.

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File Under: Browsers, Mobile

Opera Mini Arrives on the iPhone

It's real. Go ahead, touch it.

It's real. Go ahead, touch it.

After weeks of waiting, Apple has finally approved Opera’s Mini browser on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

So sayeth the press release:

Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market

Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.

Opera doesn’t really need to sell it that hard. If you want Opera on your Apple touchscreen, you already know all about it and you’ve been waiting for this day.

Keep checking the App Store tonight and tomorrow to get yours.

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File Under: Browsers, Mobile

Video: Opera Mini on the iPhone

As we mentioned last week, we got to see a preview of Opera’s Mini 5 browser running on the iPhone. Opera was showing off the app at its booth at the South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. But the Opera folks wouldn’t let us photograph it or shoot video of it, and they couldn’t provide us with anything other than a pre-approved screenshot. But now Opera has released a video of the tiny browser in action, embedded above.

Opera Mini 5 has been submitted to the Apple App Store and is currently awaiting approval.

The browser looks fast — certainly much faster than Safari on the iPhone. The big difference is Opera’s server-side compression technology it uses for Mini, which squishes pages and images down to about 10-20% of their original size before they are sent over the tubes. As a result, some multi-touch functionality (like “the pinch”) is disabled, but the browser is fast.

Also pay attention to the tab switcher, and the tap-to-zoom function, both of which are well-executed.

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