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Opera rewrite comes to Android

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Norway's gift to the world of technology, the Opera browser, is now available for Android in an entirely new version.

This cut of Opera for Android has been in beta for a while and has apparently done sufficiently well to be pushed out of the door and into the cold, hard world that is Google Play.

There it will find itself in competition with Google's Chrome and Firefox as an alternative to the rather ornery browser baked into Android.

Opera's banking on a content aggregation feature called “Discover” to get you downloading, and also hopes the “Off-road” data compression tool appeals to those who often find themselves in bandwidth-challenged locations.

We'll hazard a guess that “Off-road” shares some code with the many versions of Opera the company sells to makers of feature phones. Those cuts of the code give Opera impressive, if declining, market share in the mobile browser market, as the StatCounter data below demonstrates.

The downward trend on that graph, and upwards direction for Android, shows Opera will doubtless be rather happy if its new progeny is pressed into service a lot.

Perhaps the new combined search and address bar, plus all sorts of cunning re-rendering routines to squish pages into mobes' screens, will help Opera to recapture its former glory. ®

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