Opera Mini 5 Beta Android App LaunchedWritten by John Thompson on March 12, 2010 · Filed under Software
Opera Mini 5 beta became available for download on the Android Market yesterday and after a long hands on, I believe it shows a lot of promise as a mobile browser on Android.
Opera has good history on mobile devices such as their Opera Mobile 9.5 browser for Windows Mobile phones, so the first thing that struck me about Mini 5 is that it too has an extremely simple user interface (UI) that’s extremely intuitive and makes a lot of key operations in mobile browsing very easy.
At the bottom of the screen, there’s a black bar with all the navigation tools you need, and although this may take up valuable screen estate on an already small screen, it’s very functional. You have your back, forward and refresh buttons as expected, but the tabs button makes it incredibly easy to add, remove and switch between tabs – much easier than it is on Android’s stock browser.
You also have access to the preferences via a pop up grid with various choices allowing you to not only change your settings, but also manage your downloads, bookmarks and view your history amongst other things.
Apart from the good looking UI of Opera Mini 5 on my Google Android-based Nexus One, I was impressed at the sheer speed when rendering pages. The browser itself isn’t necessarily faster, but the way pages are loaded is. When loading a page, it’s taken from Opera’s servers, which load the page using compressed text and images from their cache. This means that pages load extremely fast, although image quality isn’t as sharp as it is on the stock browser, where web pages are loaded like they would on any other device.
Being in beta, Opera Mini 5 looks incredibly promising, and although features such as pinch-to-zoom aren’t supported yet, the future of web browsing on Android certainly looks bright thanks to Google’s open platform policy and the vast number of different handsets (such as the HTC Desire) being released in 2010, unlike a certain other company’s mobile platform…
For full details on how to download Opera Mini 5, head on over to the Opera website or search for the browser app on the Android Market.
Via – Telegraph