Thursday, March 25, 2010

Opera for mobile phones

I've managed to get a first hand look at the Opera Mini web browser that's been in development for the iPhone. Surprisingly, I was impressed at its performance during our hands-on demonstration at CTIA 2010. The biggest thing that stood out was how quickly a web site loaded on the device – which was obviously running on EDGE speeds as opposed to 3G. Scrolling through a web page looked extremely sensitive – meaning that the slightest movement or flick would make the site scroll in the specific direction very quickly. Text is automatically fitted to the width of the screen to allow easier reading, although the zoomed out view just make text garbled looking.

There are also some other enhancements to make it stand out over some other apps like the automatic syncing of your settings and ability to search for a specific word within a page; something that's not offered on mobile Safari. Additionally, you've got all your common features like copying text and opening up multiple web pages – all are saved when you exit out of the app. Besides that, its overall impressive performance goes to show how useful the web browser can be on the smartphone. Opera has been in the game of providing the best web browser experience on mobile handsets, but their latest efforts with their iPhone app still showcases their ability in continuing to be a leader in this market. As much as everyone wishes to try out this app right now, we'll have to wait until it clears Apple's approval process before anyone can check it out.

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