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Software Handhelds Hardware

Opera Mini Mobile Browser Officially Released 124

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fingers-in-a-few-more-pies dept.
worb writes "The tiny mobile browser Opera Mini was officially released worldwide today. Opera is known for its PC and mobile browsers, but even the cell phone version Opera require more memory than most phones today are capable of. Opera Mini works by passing pages through Opera's servers to strip them down before they are displayed on the phone. Also, the Register has a story on how this actually means that Opera now offers a reason not to buy a smartphone, a market Opera currently has a strong foothold in."
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Opera Mini Mobile Browser Officially Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:10PM (#14552759)
    Screenshots here:
    http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=13423 [osnews.com]
    Interesting discussion here about how good Opera Mini really is or it is not:
    http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008770.htm l [russellbeattie.com]
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @08:07PM (#14553122) Journal
      where's the discussion about this 'feature':
      Opera Mini works by passing pages through Opera's servers to strip them down before they are displayed on the phone.
      I assume this is an automated process, just like Google's ability to insert relevant ads into G-Mail.

      Not to be alarmist, but the question remains, what're they planning to do with those browsing histories?
    • Nice browser, sucks about all the massively available hardware on the backend to support it...
      Web masters should build web site with PDA's and cell phones in mind. They are becoming a bigger player on the web everyday.
      After I refresh a site I own I always load it in IE, Firefox, Opera and then load it on my IPAQ to ensure it renders correctly and doesn't suck to bad on the portable.
      I have yet to try building a site that caters exclusively to portable devices but I bet the market is there.
  • by digitaldc (879047) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:16PM (#14552803)
    Opera Mini works by passing pages through Opera's servers to strip them down before they are displayed on the phone.

    So does this mean that we can finally see pictures of Jessica Simpson and Seven of Nine naked?
  • So when can I get opera for my Pocket PC? Or any other decent browser for that matter.
  • Not as such.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Art Popp (29075) * on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:23PM (#14552863)
    "...today offers a reason not to buy a smart phone."

    Um, no. This is, in fact, the best reason to buy a smart phone yet. Non-smartphones typically save money by having little ram, little flash memory, and slow processors, this makes them cheap and great on batteries. Even with on-the-fly-proxy-html-rewriting surfing the modern broad-band oriented Internet can be a painful experience.

    I have a SideKick II (which has Danger's very good html/image compressing proxies behind it), a Nokia 6682 (good Edge GSM phone), and a Treo 650. All of which can download a typical webpage before a SonyEricson T610 can run the most trivial of Java apps. Each of the phones has features I like, but when I need a data device I reach unhesitatingly for the Treo. 320x320 pixels and 300 Mhz beats both proxy-compression and Edge for overall web use for no other reason than more pixels and a more processor make the navigating the received page so much faster. It's also worth noting that now that T-Mobile has rolled out it's Edge network, multi-timeslot downloads are working with the Treo, so in well-covered areas it's twice as fast (~44kbits/s) as a typical GPRS download rate (~22kbits/s). In addition, the Treo has enough processor to play highframe rate videos (TCPMP), makes good use of 2gb SD cards, and has a good OpenSource SSH client (tuSSH).

    In short, if you really want to surf from your phone, spend the extra bucks and get a smartphone, or 1000 minutes of use from now you'll wish you had.
    • T-Mobile claims that you can get over 56kbps on T-Mobile GPRS on an ordinary Motorola phone when you call them. I can see that 1 timeslot is supposed to give 21.4kbps, though... Those lying bastards :(
    • SE T610 is a 3 years old model, and it wasn't intended to compete with smartphones. I bought SE K600i last december, after 1.5 years of using Pocket PC + T610 for occasional web surfing on the go. At first, I was reluctant of giving a try to Opera, being frightened by my previous experience with Motorola mpx200 bundled browser. But when I finally tried it, I found it very comfortable for checking webmail accounts (despite even lack of secure connection through their proxy), news (slashdot) and weather forec
    • I have a Nokia 6255i CDMA phone, and I get ~100kbps over 1xRTT. Opera Mini runs beatifully on it, and has for about 2 months now. I'm also using Google Local Mobile. This phone kicks major ass, it plays full motion video (30fps) and uses up to 2GB MMC cards. It also has Bluetooth, a good quality VGA camera, an MP3 player, and FM radio. If you really NEED a larger screen, use Bluetooth to connect your laptop or a PDA (I use a Toshiba e800) and surf on that. My carrier (US Cellular) tries to lock out th
  • Opera RSS feeds (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rapidweather (567364) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:25PM (#14552876) Homepage
    I wonder if Opera Mini will also have the ability to handle RSS feeds something like the regular Opera 8.51 does. I'm running it now on my knoppix remaster, and I have several RSS feeds, (including slashdot), and I think it's cool how the little feed download popup in the lower right hand corner of the screen works. Every so often it pops up and shows the download of more stories from the various feeds. Even on dialup, it loads from scratch in less than a minute, sometimes over 180 stories! Then maintains the feed lists with the updates. On a mobile device, do you suppose Opera Mini will have some sort of sound to notify of updated feed lists? Also, the way Opera handles the feeds is superior to Firefox, which only shows the titles of the stories in the bookmarks toolbar folder, in the drop down box. Opera gives you the summary of the story when you click on it, sometimes several lines long, enough for you to decide whether or not you want to click on the main link provided, and go to the actual web page for that item. Opera provides a quick and bandwidth-conserving way of scanning a lot of news items and articles very quickly. Opera Mini might be able to do this also for the mobile devices.
  • AvantGo? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Orrin Bloquy (898571)
    Opera Mini works by passing pages through Opera's servers to strip them down before they are displayed on the phone.

    Uh, I thought that was how AvantGo worked, too. Not flamebait, just asking why this is considered amazing.

    • Re:AvantGo? (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @08:50PM (#14553351) Homepage Journal

      Opera Mini works by passing pages through Opera's servers to strip them down before they are displayed on the phone.

      Uh, I thought that was how AvantGo worked, too. Not flamebait, just asking why this is considered amazing.

      Because AvantGo provides you some downloaded content that you can browse on your device at your leisure, and Opera Mini is a web browser, with which you can dynamically view content?

      At least, that's all AvantGo did last time I used it (for Palm) and AFAICT from a super-quick glance over their website, it's all they do now.

    • Using a proxy isn't that exciting, A lot of Palm based browsers do that.. What's amazing is that it works on so many devices, and works so damn well. The fact it's massively small is icing on the cake. personally I don't use it, but it sure beats a lot of alternatives.
    • It's very different. It's not yet another "we gzip HTML" service. In this setup entire pages are actually rendered on server (including Javascript, CSS) and reformatted using Opera's Small Screen Rendering (try it out: Shift+f11 in desktop Opera). Phone just receives visible result using special thin protocol (so it's more like optimized VNC client than a browser).

      • AvantGo doesn't mod_deflate either. It server-side parses the HTML into a proprietary binary format for their portable readers.

        As far as server-side *ML to *ML markup filtering is concerned, Betsie [sourceforge.net] (the BBC's Perl accessibility parser) has been doing this since 1999. I've implemented it locally myself. It's a recursive regex toy no more sophisticated in principle than 1986's Encheferizer [wikipedia.org].

        Considering how painfully orthodox Opera's developers are about W3C standards, microbrowsers that ignore CSS-based sites

  • ...it lets me get FP anytime, anywhere. In fact, I'm posting this with it right now...
  • OLD NEWS!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:42PM (#14552980)
    I've been using this for a whole week..(it was given to sprint users for Vision Phones from a link they provided on 1/13)

    http://www.sprintusers.com/forum/showthread.php?t= 87456&highlight=opera+mini [sprintusers.com]

    O-Mini seems to pass all comm through thier servers in real time. It slices most full window pages into 30 slices. It does the same on large, wider-then-tall images.

    Actually I love it so far.. I just hope they keep it free...

    Also check out Google Maps for mobile:
    http://www.google.com/glm/index.html [google.com]

    And Orb (stream MUCHO from home computer):
    http://www.orb.com/what_is_orb/ [orb.com]
    • Re:OLD NEWS!!! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Same person as above..

      Also wanted to add...

      RSS support is missing... but it WILL bookmark, grab/store .ico files for sites, it has a history, and two a few smart ideas for making it easier on the bandwidth needed to download a site. These are the ability to switch between bigger text, to make the page webpage "slices" smaller & smaller text to be able to see more, and to pick the encoding of images from a pretty lossy jpg compression to a decent one.

      I know it does the oprea webservers are doing it real
  • Any idea when the new version of Opera Maxi (i.e. normal Opera) will be coming out? 9 has been in beta for a long time, and I'd like to see Gmail work right for once.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Any idea when the new version of Opera Maxi (i.e. normal Opera) will be coming out? 9 has been in beta for a long time, and I'd like to see Gmail work right for once.

      Sure, you can get it right here [mozilla.com].

      (Sorry, couldn't resist, I got a bunch of the same shit talking about aieeeee in another thread) :)

    • GMail has worked perfectly on Opera for a good while now (i'm using version 8.51 build 1462 for Linux).
        1. Open Gmail in Standard Mode (i.e. the one with all the nifty Ajax)
        2. View a message thread that has multiple messages/replies.
        3. Click an old message in the thread to expand it and see all its contents.
        4. Click the 'Reply' link under the newly revealed message.
        5. *boom*


        Breaks on me every time, at least in Windows. Just did this in Beta 9 here at work. I have 8.51 installed at home and I get similar problems there...
  • BREW version? (Score:3, Informative)

    by fupeg (653970) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:44PM (#14552991)
    Opera Mini, just like Google Local for Mobile [google.com], is a J2ME app. Hopefully they'll both have a BREW [qualcomm.com] version soon.
    • Why would you want to PAY for something that's free to everyone else?? BREW is nothing more than a wrapper for J2ME anyway..
      • BREW is nothing more than a wrapper for J2ME anyway

        Doesn't this comment mean you have no idea what BREW is?
        • Yes I do. BREW is a proprietary platform developed by Qualcomm. It provides Apps and Games that are sold to mobile phone subscribers. The development of these apps costs a small fortune, so there are few freeware BREW based apps. I know a few BREW developers, and they have all commented on how much like Java, if not exact, the apps really are. I'm all about making money, but BREW is senseless. Java has been available on mobile devices for longer, and is free to develop for. BREW takes the idea of Jav
  • by lumbercartel.ca (944801) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @07:49PM (#14553016) Homepage
    By default Opera identifies itself as "Internet Explorer" and some webmasters incorrectly use this information to determine which web browsers are more commonly used.

    If you're a big fan of Opera, like we are (and it's already standard at some of the companies we regularly deal with too), you can actually cast an implied vote by setting the default to "Opera" in the settings:

    1. "Tools" menu
    2. "Preferences" item
    3. "Advanced" tab
    4. "Network" option (on the left-hand side)
    5. "Browser identification" pull-down menu

    And if you find a web site that lectures you on which web browser they think you should use, then send a friendly message to the sales department (don't bother the webmaster because given their attitude they'll probably just ignore you and not bother to let the sales people know) telling them that you were interested in their product but since you can use Opera to browse their web site that you'll just have to find the needed information somewhere else.
    • If you're a big fan of Opera, like we are (and it's already standard at some of the companies we regularly deal with too), you can actually cast an implied vote by setting the default to "Opera" in the settings:

      1. "Tools" menu
      2. "Preferences" item
      3. "Advanced" tab
      4. "Network" option (on the left-hand side)
      5. "Browser identification" pull-down menu

      That, or you know the software, hit F12 for the quickprefs and select "Identify as Opera".

      This is completely irrelevant here though, since that's "Maxi" opera and the s

    • Or you could...
      1. Press F12
      2. Click on 'Identify as Opera'
    • By default Opera identifies itself as "Internet Explorer" and some webmasters incorrectly use this information to determine which web browsers are more commonly used.

      That claim is about as false as saying that the web stats are wrong because by default Internet Explorer identifies itself as Mozilla.

      Here is an example of a User-Agent string that Opera sends when it "identifies itself as Internet Explorer":

      Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Mac_PowerPC Mac OS X; en) Opera 8.51

      Notice that even tho

  • by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @08:00PM (#14553079) Homepage
    So, does this mean that if Opera desperatly needs some more cache, they'll start logging the pages they strip and sell off the logs to the highest bidder? What about DOJ requests for folks checking out pr0n on their mobile phone?

    Is this liability that Opera really wants to take on?
  • I thought the best reason not to buy a smartphone was having to try and read websites on a 1.5" screen. I suppose if you enjoy something like that, it's all well and good, but I can't even put up with reading text messages. At least they're only a few words long.
    • Actually I'd suggest you to just try Opera Mini out (it's free after all), the lowest font size on my phone (nokia 6230i) is surprisingly crisp and clear, and puts a LOT of data on the screen. It's actually genuinely nice and easy to read.

      The bigger font is, of course, much more readable, but it breaks lines far more often and I find it actually lowers the readability of the pages for me.

  • I wonder whether it can be viewed in Landscape mode on, say a PPC-6700 smartphone. The screenshots displayed text layout much better than IE...which will minimize expensive scrolling /. in the company bathroom stall.
  • Finally - A browser that actually works on the ROKR - I haven't been able to hit gmail on a cell since upgrading phones - until now.

    I always thought Opera for desktops should have been free, but this - I'd have gladly paid $30-$40 bucks for it.

  • by thpdg (519053) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @09:25PM (#14553561) Journal
    I have been using Opera Mini on my Nokia 6230 for about a month now. It runs very quickly, much better than the built in browser on my particular phone. I have found only rare pages that don't work properly. I use HTML gmail, without a problem, and many other full sites work great. You can still look at the mobile versions of sites, and they work even more quickly than the mobile versions in the built-in browser. Supports cookies and SSL without a problem. It's great when you want to go to a site without argument of what your phone can and can not do.
    It has a nice front page that helps you quickly return to sites you looked at in the last session, your top bookmarks, and jsut sites you'd like to see on the front page. It also has a very complete options menu, for the standard browser options.
    Only one problem: it doesn't support the required technologies to properly support AJAX. It's becoming more and more necessary, and it's a shame that you can't use the dynamic gmail and dynamic custom Google front page. I'm sure they'll get it worked out soon. I'm not sure if it's the javascript, the XML, or the HTTPRequest object, but it just doesn't work. It may even be a DHTML issue.

    Conclusion: Try this browser if you have a java phone, you'll love it.
    • One possible reason that it doesn't work as expected is because the Opera server alters the content before it gets transferred to your phone. It shrinks the images and rewrites the code. This makes it viewable on your handset's tiny screen, saves bandwidth, and also saves your phone's limited resources. The tradeoff is that a lot of the code, tags and attributes required for AJAX applications are discarded.
      • I've always suspected that.
        I see on the Opera mini webpage, they are pushing their own AJAX like system. I wonder if pages are tagged correctly, if they start to work. Their example is the flickr webpage.
  • Just an intersting note from Mobile Tracker http://www.mobiletracker.net/archives/2005/11/10/l g-vx9800-review [mobiletracker.net] ...Opera Mobile requires between 3 and 4 MBs of RAM. This device does not set aside that much RAM for the browser. And if it had more RAM, I am sure the included browser would run better anyway.

    As for Opera Mini, its abilities are WORSE than the version of the Openwave browser included in this phone: version 6.2.3.2. Opera Mini is a very scaled-down mini-browser (even centering text doesn't work) w
  • I like where this is going. While I do think the Nokia 770 concept is really cool, rather than building stripped-down laptop/cellphone/pda hybrid thingys, why not focus on wireless dumb terminals that access larger servers to do their computing and storage? Picture this: a folding device (like a Nintendo DS or like two PSPs on a hinge) with one screen as a display, and one as a reconfigurable control pad (like the DS touchscreen maybe?) or maybe a qwerty thumbboard (dunno how good a touchscreen setting of t
  • I cannot get very far in the download with my WAP browser on my blackberry 7510 before it says download failed. On a side note, I have been trying to download and install 1.2 for a few days now, but I keep getting a java out of memory error on installation. I guess they did not QA for all platforms.

    Mirror:
    http://www.getjar.com/products/3334/OperaMini [getjar.com]
    or from your phone:
    wap.getjar.com
  • Until Opera Mini supports proxies (for T-mobile), it sucks.
    • Actually, I'm using it on a RAZR with T-Mobile, and it works great. I did, however, have to set up my RAZR to use HTTP via GPRS. You can use http://tmobileus.wdsglobal.com/phonefirst [wdsglobal.com] to send a set of valid GPRS settings to your phone, and then, if you have access to it, modify it to allow for HTTP. Doing so may require you flash your phone's firmware, however. http://motomodders.net/ [motomodders.net] can help with that. If you have a RAZR and you're willing to play around with flashing it, I can give you more exact ins
  • by fishthegeek (943099) on Wednesday January 25, 2006 @12:07AM (#14554399) Journal
    I just finished installing Opera Mini on my Tungsten E2, and this is an amazingly fast browser. I've been using Blazer and there is just no comparison in performance.

    The interface is minimalist and not entirely intuitive for a long time Palm user and at best it could be said to be a little errr... unpolished, but it is serviceable.

    You can compare the performance between Opera and Google because they both offer WAP proxying and you can expect Opera's performance to be somewhat faster. Over all it's a sound app, and it works swimmingly on a humble E2 (despite the fact that they claim it isn't supported) so if you have a Lifedrive or Tx the performance should be outstanding.
  • At least they showed the good sense not to call it Operetta.
    Making gadgets do more and more things is neato and all, but I can't get excited about surfing the web or watching videos on a 1-1/2 inch screen. It would be like riding a motorcycle with 4-inch tires -- good for about 5 minutes of novelty, then give me back my Harley.

    /like I have a Harley
  • I just installed it and played for a while. This is about 19 steps up from the browser that came with my Sony Ericsson S700i...fast, smooth, and ACTUALLY USABLE as a browser! I can surf pron on my phone!

    It launches faster than my built-in browser, too, although I cant use the internet button to launch Opera Mini. I wish I could change the default browser.

    My only complaint: the function keys (save bookmark, etc) are not exactly intuitive. Saving a bookmark is # 7; it is not in the More context menu, so y
  • I've been using it this morning and it's much better than my phone's built in browser. They seemed to have actually taken usablity into account. (I didn't realize that a phone app could be this nice.)
  • That's pretty cool. I need to buy me a nice PDA. I'd love to have Opera running on it as well. That and Firefox... but I wouldn't know which to use more. Same way for me on my Mac; I switch between Safari and Firefox.

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