Man, WebKit cannot catch a break today, can it? After Samsung announced that it would be teaming up with Mozilla to build their own mobile browser engine called Servo, Google says its planning to fork WebKit to create a new project called Blink. Unlike Servo, this one will still be based on WebKit, but this new fork actually seems to be aimed not at competing with whatever Samsung is putting out, but rather at gaining freedom from another browser: Safari.
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.
Opera and Skyfire have a lot in common: specialized use cases, small, dedicated populations of users. That appears to be enough for the desktop browser to swallow the mobile one. Opera Software ASA announced via a press release this morning that it is acquiring Skyfire and its assets, in a deal worth $155 million USD. The sale price includes a mix of cash and stock, $50 million of which will be delivered up front.
One of the most powerful tools in all of the modern desktop browsers is the ability to add extensions. Extensions allow the browser to do things that it can't do on its own - everything from simple tasks to advanced options. When it comes to desktop extensions, the limits are generally left up to the mind of the creator.
Up to this point, extensions haven't been all that widely adopted in the mobile world.
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.
Opera Software, makers of the popular browsers for desktops and mobile devices, today unveiled a mobile storefront for web apps called the Opera Mobile Store. The store, which racked up 15 million users during its February beta release, is available now on Android (as well as several other mobile operating systems).
Applications will be purchased, installed, and run via Opera's mobile browsers (Opera Mini or Opera Mobile). Opera's store is powered by web app company Appia, whose storefront commerce system will be used for payments.
Opera Software's Jeremy Forrester spent some time showing off Opera's latest browser, which was designed specifically for tablets. The browser was shown running on Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
The browser is not completely finished, but you can get a good idea of how it performs in the video above. It works nicely with Adobe Flash and should provide a familiar experience to those who are have used Opera's previous mobile browsers. More info will be made available by Opera come MWC in February.
Opera already has one of the most popular alternate browsers for Android phones, and now it seems they're moving into the tablet territory with Opera for Tablets, a new version of their browser with a revamped UI that takes advantage of tablets' larger screen size. You won't find much information besides that in the video below, but CES is just days away, so you can look forward to seeing the app in action then.
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?
Opera Mobile for Android (not to be confused with its Mini brethren) has certainly been long in the making, but according to a recent tweet by @opvard, one of Opera's employees, it's finally around the corner. The tweet didn't reveal much, but it did inform us that the mobile browser is on track for a November 9th release, adding a definitive date to the awesome Next page that we saw yesterday.