Feeds

Opera Mobile comes to the desktop

Test code without needing a phone

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Opera has released a desktop version of its mobile browser, so developers can see how their pages will look on a mobile phone and even create a widget or two.

Opera Mobile now runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops, and renders pages just as they would appear on a mobile phone running the diminutive browser. What's more, Opera’s widget platform now also comes in a desktop version.

No one can agree quite what a "widget" is, but to Opera it’s a small application created using AJAX with a few additional APIs (which aren’t yet approved by the W3C). Widgets should be cross-platform, and Opera is hoping to licence its Mobile Widget platform to handset manufacturers just like its browser.

Both applications work well enough; users can change the resolution by resizing the window, and see how effective Opera’s automatic zoom really is. Comparing the experience to a real handset reveals the experience isn't identical. Font sizes didn’t quite match so the zoom level isn't the same, but that would only matter if you were doing pixel-specific layouts.

Opera Mobile, and Mini (which is available for testing as a Java Applet), offer what is arguably the best mobile browsing experience, and cope well with a wide variety of content. There is also Opera Turbo, a service that interprets and encodes web pages for faster transmission.

But while the Java-based Opera Mini enhances a range of handsets, including the iPhone, the "Opera Mobile" version runs natively on Windows Mobile and Symbian handsets. And with Windows Mobile already on the gallows steps the future of Opera Mobile now depends entirely on Symbian.

That may be no bad thing in the long term, but for testing Opera Mini is probably the more important platform.

So this is really about widgets and providing a desktop development for them, which is exactly what Opera has done. The widget client integrates with Opera’s Dragonfly development environment for creating and debugging widgets.

Which is what Opera needs if handset vendors are going to licence its widget platform, and bring in some much-needed revenue. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.