Opera’s browser business may be struggling with heightened competition from the likes of Google Chrome, but that hasn't stopped the company from working on its existing products. The lightweight Opera Mini mobile browser, which once was the market leader, has been waiting for an update for quite a few months now. After a long gap, Opera is finally giving it a big visual overhaul with the app's latest release.
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Xiaomi's phones are sold at incredibly competitive prices because there's very little profit margin — much like Amazon and Google, the company subsidizes its hardware with income from online services and data from its users. A recent report from Forbes claims Xiaomi's Mint Browser collects more user data than is necessary, but the company has denied any wrongdoing.
Vivaldi is among the most customizable Chromium-based browsers out there (following Opera's example) and made the jump to Android last year in the form of a beta. After extensive testing, the makers of the browser have announced that they're launching the stable release of Vivaldi today, complete with a slew of new features first seen in the latest snapshot builds: a desktop-like tab strip at the top, built-in tracker and ad blocking, and more.
Kiwi made a name for itself as one of the only browsers that support extensions on Android. The app has also innovated on other parts of the Chromium base by adding a custom implementation of dark mode and by shipping with another take on a bottom bar interface that looks a lot like Google's early attempts at that design. Over the weekend, the developer has decided to make the software open source in order to share these achievements with others interested in building Chromium-based browsers.
Samsung Internet is one of the most popular web browsers available for Android, partially because it's preinstalled on all of Samsung's phones, and partially because it has a few features you don't get with Chrome. Version 11.2 has now hit the beta channel, featuring more customization settings and some improvements to the browser's tracker blocker.
Competing with dominant browsers like Chrome and Firefox, Opera differentiates itself with a bunch of additional features, like a built-in ad blocker and unlimited VPN. With the last major build released in December, the browser got the ability to darken web pages in addition to the app UI. This week Opera's releasing its v56 update, delivering a proper reader mode to help declutter the sites you read, along with a couple other handy features.
I'll be the first to admit that I am terrible at closing Chrome tabs on my phone, constantly filling them with things that I can't get to at the moment, but also don't deserve a new bookmark. Because of my poor tab management, I'm regularly greeted by a smiling emoticon in place of any indicator of my current number of open tabs. Thankfully, Chrome for Android appears to be testing a new feature, by way of a new flag, that will periodically suggest users clean out their old, unused tabs.
There's a very delicate balance when it comes to targeted advertising and violating user privacy — some folks even think it isn't possible to have both at all — but Google would like to establish a new set of standards for browsers that can allow the former without too much concern about the latter. The company is calling this initiative "Privacy Sandbox," and the company hopes it might help prevent privacy-violating workarounds like so-called "fingerprinting."