Well, we reported not long ago that Opera had created an Android version of Opera Mobile 10. The software would only be available to OEMs and we have learned why. The Mobile 10 version utilizes some JAVA features only available via the Android NDK and even some direct Linux libraries not supported by the NDK. Sounds like it’s much more deeply integrated in Android than a simple .apk application is. This is good and bad.
Good in a sense it should be able to perform better, thanks to it’s ability to go direct to some of the hardware and skip some of the api requirements of an .apk file, but of course, bad in the sense it couldn’t just be released like a standard application. This is similar to the route Mozilla will be heading for it’s Android version of Firefox/Fennec.
However, don’t worry too much, as Opera will be sending out an Android version of it’s mini Opera 5, which is a very lightweight application with a server-client style working. Basically, when you surf to a website, a server on Opera’s end crunches the data into pieces more easily accepted by a mobile phone, which could make for a slightly faster and/or optimized rendering. Opera Mini 5 has been changed recently to resemble Opera Mobile 10, with the following features:
- Tabbed browsing – Browse several Web sites at the same time, while easily jumping from one to another.
- Speed Dial – Get to your favorite Web page with just one click, with a set of visual bookmarks when you open a new tab.
- Opera Link – Synchronize your bookmarks and Speed Dial between your mobile phone and desktop computer.
- Download manager – Manage downloads right from the browser. Pause and resume downloads to suit your needs.
This should be a nice stop-gap for those itching for some Opera love on their Android phone until they can pick up a phone with built in Opera Mobile 10. For an overview of what’s new in Opera Mini 5, have a view of the video.
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