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Friday, February 10, 2006

Opera Mini™ for Mobile

Yesterday a friend of mine introduced me to the Opera Mini™ for Mobile browser for cellphones (well, for any MIDP compliant device I suppose). It really is a great replacement browser, as mobile use has really been considered. The default browser on my phone (a Siemens CX65) is klunky and pretty slow, and seems to have trouble storing cookies. It's text is also a bit on the large side, which isn't necessarily a good thing when browsing on a mobile.

Opera Mini on the other hand, has comfortably sized text, as well as an option to use really small text, which works extremely well (I'll be leaving this setting on). Another really great feature is the built in keypad shortcuts, which save you from the painful process of navigating softkey menus. One of the shortcuts switches the browser to fullscreen mode, which really makes a difference on such a small screen. The Opera Min homepage (which seems to be locally stored) includes an address textbox for quick navigation, a google search box for immediately accessibly searching and a collection of bookmarks which you can add to and edit. It also includes a list of recently visited sites, which is extremely useful for someone like me that only really uses their phone browser to visit a sall number of sites.
I have encountered one or two minor rendering issues, but they are neither serious nor persistent. The only major downside is that I don't seem to be able to save images from sites, which my native browser can do. I have not tried downloading anything from actual links, but I assume if they did not do device-specifics, there will be no access to the phone's file system, so that will be out.
The emphasis in designing this browser has definitely been firmly on ease of use, and the result is a really useful little app that has found itself as one of the keypad shortcuts on my phone. I can highly recommend it.


Samuel Kock said...

Hmm, it looks cool! Only problem is it says my phone does not have an Internet connection! When of course it does, sionce I used the phone's built in browser to download Opera... Strange...

Flint said...

Doh! That's cause your phone is female and it's having emotional issues today. Crush two aspirins in water and soak the phone in it.. and good luck trying to call in the morning ;)


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