Opera Max debuted on Android way back in December of 2013. Today it gets a major update - major enough, at least, that Opera thinks it's worth putting into a completely new app listing. Here's the original Opera Max, and here's the new "global" version (from the file name). The biggest visual change is a spiffy new interface with a bunch of Material Design elements. And that's nice, but what's really interesting is the ability to select specific settings for Wi-Fi or mobile (3G and LTE) connections.
Opera for Android used to offer an Off-Road mode that compressed websites to help consume less data. But users sometimes ran into issues with compatibility. Now the company is fixing things by bringing Opera Turbo to its main Android app, with the hope of letting you save data without sacrificing speed or formatting.
Opera Turbo has been available on desktops for the better part of a decade. It runs on different servers than the Android version's old Off-Road mode (which used the servers behind Opera Mini).
It's easy to forget that Opera is still out there with all the talk of Chrome and Firefox, but it's still a capable browser. Even more so after it switched to a Chromium base a while back. The beta version of Opera is getting an update today, and it's based on a new version of Chromium with a few added features.
Back in 2004 (or thereabouts), Opera was my go-to browser. I liked that it was available on both Windows and Linux, and it just seemed faster than Firefox to me at the time. That was of course long before mobile phones were what they are now - I was probably carrying an old Nokia bar phone and changing the faceplate every three days. Good times.
Another thing missing back in the dark days of the early 2000s was something Google really made happen with Chrome: cross-device/platform sync.
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.
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 That includes web users who've installed Opera, Opera Mini, the data-saving Opera Max, and the outdated Opera Mobile Classic.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.
Update: While the app is no longer behind the Play Store beta wall, Opera is apparently waiting before they throw the switch. The Opera blog post said access to the general public was first come, first serve, but there's a waiting list in the app right now. Opera is allowing everyone access, but it's happening slowly, probably to manage server load.
Unlimited data is becoming a rarity these days, so you might need to watch your usage more closely.
Opera has long been doing good things in the area of data compression on mobile devices with its mobile browser thanks to Off-Road mode, but what if an app existed that could optimize nearly all mobile data while on the go? Thanks to a new app called Opera Max, that's a reality.
It uses the same kind of compressions technology used in Opera Browser, but instead of just working its magic on web pages, it attempts to do this for most applications that access the web.