Feeds

Opera Mini gets facelift, sprouts tabs

Small app, big ambitions

The Power of One Infographic

Opera is bringing multipage browsing to its popular Mini browser, with a beta rolling out today. Mini 5.0 also gets a slick visual makeover, and touch support on devices that accept touch input.

Underneath it's the familiar Opera 4 Mini engine with a few tweaks, and existing users will be relieved that key shortcuts have been retained. But the proliferating screens of settings, bookmarks etc are now accessible by a pulldown menu. The address bar and search bar are integrated into the page view, almost exactly in the manner of iPhone Safari. Usually the ideas in the browser flow the other way.

Menu makes this bar appear [click to enlarge]

Speaking of which, Opera Mini gets its desktop browser's Speed Dial, an Opera innovation purloined by Apple for Safari 4.

Mini now has a Speed Dial, with thumbnails

I spent a some time with a pre-beta, and the new UI succeeds in allowing you to switch tabs easily (a keystroke would be even more welcome); you can switch tabs with a <bold>*</bold> + left and right key sequence. It also makes it easier for newbies to find the History, Bookmarks and Settings. The rest seems reassuringly familiar.

One feature request I made is for a "Send to" option on a page, so you can email or sms a link. This is harder with Mini, Opera told me, because Opera can't control the underlying platform, unlike Apple, Nokia or Google, and so can't make assumptions about what email client might be installed.

On touchscreen phones, you can swipe to navigate visual thumbnails

;

Or on regular phones, the tab bar is at the top.

Opera Mini is one of the best arguments for choosing a feature phone, rather than one of the more expensive alternatives; it provides the assurance that via Opera Mini, and Opera's caching proxy, you're not really weren't missing out on the mobile web.

Opera Mini 5 should close that gap even further. It's a mere 220kb download. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.