If you live somewhere where a fast, reliable, and cheap internet connection isn't a given, or if you own a smartphone that crawls at the mere sight of a 5MB+ app, there's no arguing the benefits of Opera Mini as a go-to browser. The app also gets very frequent updates that improve its usability, like a QR code reader, night mode, different data compression modes, and more. Now Opera Mini is ready to join its big brother by adding the video compression feature that Opera users have been enjoying for the past months.
Opera uses its own Rocket Optimizer technology to compress up to 60% of video data, which results in faster loading and less consumed bandwidth.
I love Opera Mini, not just because of its light size and data saving features, but also because the app keeps getting updated frequently with new things to check out.
This last update for example adds a QR reader and generator to the browser so that you can scan any QR code you might come across and immediately go to the linked page, or create codes to share with nearby users or online. I haven't been seeing lots of QR codes around me lately, but in the 1 or 2 instances where I came across them, I wished I could scan them easily.
Opera Mini's claim to fame, beside its low footprint, has been its ability to compress data on its servers and serve websites to you faster and with lesser bytes than more traditional browsers. If you're on an unreliable internet connection, in an area with nothing but GPRS or Edge, or with an operator that charges you for your consumed Megabytes as if they were rare diamonds, Opera Mini was and still is essentially your safest bet.
The app is getting even better today thanks to the version 11 update. Instead of a single Data Savings mode, there are two. Extreme is what Opera Mini has used before: it significantly compresses websites and images. High is the new addition: it shrinks the size of images and sites, but not as much as the Extreme mode, allowing for a richer and fuller web experience.
Oh, Opera. You've been around for a long time (considerably longer than Android or Google, in fact) but aside from a great showing back in the J2ME days, you've never managed to break into those competitive browser markets. The latest financial figures and projections, as reported by Reuters, don't look particularly good for the Norwegian software company. Though Opera Software's revenues grew in the second quarter, they didn't meet analyst expectations, and adjusted earnings missed the target by a factor of $1.6 million. The projection for total 2015 revenue has been cut from $630-650 million down to $600-618 million.
If all those numbers make your head spin, just know that they're not good.
Chrome users love to try out new features in the beta version of the Android browser, and fans of Opera's long-running software have been able to do the same since March. Now you can try out the new goodies in the pipeline early for the Opera Mini browser as well: the company just published a beta app on the Play Store. And what's more, the very first release of the beta version is making it count with a fresh new user interface.
Opera Mini on the left, Opera Mini Beta on the right.
The new version of Opera Mini looks considerably more modern, even if it isn't adhering to broad Holo or Material Design standards.
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.
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.
Android versions of the popular Opera browser have just received some huge updates today. Both Opera Mobile and Opera Mini now sport feature sets that should make them among the most sought-after browsers on nearly any Android device.
Opera Mini, which compresses pages on Opera's servers before delivering to you (for better speeds on phones with slow data connections) now has the following:
Pinch to zoom
Improved panning and zooming performance
New UI optimized for tablets
Refreshed user interface
Open link in background
Meanwhile the more traditional Opera Mobile browser (for when your data speeds are just peachy) got the following upgrades:
Adobe Flash support
New UI for tablet devices
Much faster and smoother panning and zooming
Improved text-wrap on zoom
Smart-tap: auto-zoom and highlights links if ambiguous link click
Remember tabs from previous session
You can see Opera's promo video of the new updates in action in the clip below:
These have been much-anticipated updates for two of the speediest and smoothest browsers in the Market, but we are still looking forward to absent features like User Agent switching and full-screen mode.