We often take mobile web browsing for granted, but sometimes the simplest of problems can turn it into a miserable experience. One of the early improvements to Android’s built-in web browser was a neat little feature that allowed text to re-wrap based on zoom level. It’s an obvious function, something that seems natural for reading more than a few words on a small screen. Unfortunately, a significant change in Android 4.4 resulted in the loss of this incredibly convenient capability for most web browsers and several applications.
Opera has been talking up its new browser entry into the Android world for a few months now, with a beta version hitting the scene back in March. That beta has now graduated into a final release, which just landed in the Play Store this morning. The overall appearance and functionality seems to be largely unchanged from the beta, so users who have been testing out the browser should feel right at home with the first stable offering (which is a completely new listing in the Play Store, not an update to the beta).
Get those fingers ready, Opera fans: the biggest thing to happen to your favorite mobile browser in years has arrived. Opera Software announced a new and retooled version of their browser in February, and demonstrated it during Mobile World Congress. The Opera browser beta (no Mini or Mobile here, it's the "full" version a la Chrome) is live in the Play Store. It's a free download for just about any Android device, so get to it.
Having your app unceremoniously pulled from the Market just a few short hours after it launches can certainly be discouraging, but the developers behind Kongregate Arcade didn't let that stop them from trying again.
Indeed, Kongregate Arcade has returned to the Android Market, albeit with a few tweaks intended to please Google. Most importantly, the app no longer downloads game data to users' SD cards; instead, the information is stored in the standard browser cache (Kongregate Arcade is actually a WebKit-based browser with some heavy modifications).
It's been but a few weeks since Opera's announcement of Opera Mobile for Android at their Up North Web conference, and now the browser is out there navigating the maze of tubes that is the Internet. While they didn't quite meet their "within the month (October)" promise, we can forgive them for wanting to polish things a little further.
However, glancing at Opera Mobile for the first time, your look might be one of the askance variety; "What's this?
We've seen Fennec (or Firefox for Android as it's now called) gradually progressing over the last few months, reaching a state of real usability in the last couple of weeks. There are many excited by Fennec's journey and the ability have a browser with near-full-desktop functionality, but it seems that even more struggle to see a place for another browser on their phone. After all, the stock Android browser is lightning-quick and works well enough for a pretty satisfying web experience.