According to a press release from Opera software, the Norwegian company's Opera web browser has reached 100 million active users on Android. That includes web users who've installed Opera, Opera Mini, the data-saving Opera Max, and the outdated Opera Mobile Classic. India and China have the largest numbers of Opera Android users, with Indonesia, Russia, and Mexico also posting large gains. The company claims that its active users have doubled in a single year.

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The Google Play Store doesn't provide exact download numbers (and it isn't available in mainland China anyway), but the total range for Opera's four browser options is probably between 100,000,000 and half a billion. Google's official Chrome browser has more, at least according to the Play Store metrics, but the nearest non-Google competitor is probably Dolphin Browser, with somewhere between 10 and 50 million downloads. The fact that Opera's brand and mobile apps precede Chrome, and that the apps offer data-saving options not available elsewhere, probably makes them more attractive to users in developing markets.

The most popular of the disparate Opera browsers is Opera Mini, which has actually been around for much longer than Android. It debuted as a Java ME application to offer better web browsing for smartphones in 2005, before their massive boom in popularity after the iPhone. Opera users, both on mobile and the desktop, remain among some of the more outspoken software fans on the web. Given that Facebook seems to be the only third-party company that can crack the 500 million mark, here's hoping Opera can keep up the good work.

Oslo, Norway - August 26, 2014: 100 million Android active users are now accessing the web using Opera’s browsers, twice as many as one year ago, Opera Software announced today.

India, followed by China, Indonesia, Russia and Mexico have the largest number of Opera users on Android.

“We are working hard to make fast, secure and easy-to-use web browsers, and I am very happy that we now have over 100 million smartphone customers around the world,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO at Opera Software.

“We want to create a connected world, where people have access to information, and the mobile web is absolutely crucial to this goal,” continues Boilesen.

Opera Mini is most popular

The most popular Opera app for Android phones is the Opera Mini browser, followed by the Opera for Androidbrowser and Opera Max. Opera Mini compresses webpages to as little as 10% of their original size, getting users their content faster. Data compression is a big advantage on slow networks, allowing for a superior browsing experience. It also makes the mobile internet more affordable by helping users get the most out of their data plans.

Data-savings app compresses video

Opera users in some markets can also cut down on mobile video data usage with Opera Max. Developed for Android phones, Opera Max is Opera’s answer to the massive consumer demand for accessing mobile video, enabling compression of video, photos and text across most smartphone apps.