New version of the Opera Mini web browser released
The Norwegian web browser manufacturer Opera Software has released a new version of its Opera Mini mobile phone browser to download. Unlike its bigger brother Opera Mobile, Opera Mini is free and runs as a Java application on most newer mobile phones. Opera Mini loads web content exclusively via the Opera proxy servers, which process content for mobile use by compressing it, Opera claims, by up to 90 per cent.
The new browser does not contain any features that were not in the beta, released two weeks ago. Opera Mini 4.2 now offers skins with which to personalize the user interface and has improved support for video playback via RTSP from services like the mobile version of YouTube. Opera has also enhanced its Opera Link synchronization feature. This now supports the browser history and will synchronize notes directly with the desktop version of the browser – Opera 9.6.
The software manufacturer also claims that the tests it has carried out since releasing the beta version of Opera Mini 4.2 show that this version provides users in the US with a speed improvement of around 30 per cent, due to the addition of a new server park in the United States to process web pages for Opera Mini. Users outside the USA should also experience a noticeable improvement as a result of the reduced workload on the existing servers.
Version 4.2 of Opera Mini is now also available as an alternative web browser for smartphones running Google's Android platform. The Android smartphone OS, developed by Google and an alliance of telecoms companies, mobile phone manufacturers and software firms and released as open source, has so far been available only on the T-Mobile G1 mobile phone in the USA. T-Mobile started selling the G1 here in the UK at the end of October. Other companies like Motorola and Asus have Android-based mobile phones in the works.