Even though smartphones rule the roost in MWC, Opera Software hasn’t forgotten about its dumb phone users. Opera Mini Next 7, which was unveiled earlier today, introduces many of the conveniences of a smartphone to J2ME powered budget handsets.
Typically, Opera has dedicated its entire new tab page to speed dials, which are visual bookmarks that provide one click access to a user’s favorite websites. However, Opera Mini 7 features something called “Smart Page”. Speed dials are still there; however, they are now tucked away in a separate tab, and like its more abled sibling, Opera Mini now supports an unlimited number of speed dials. The Smart Page itself is an amalgamation of content from various places around the web, including social networks. Check out the video below to get an idea about how Smart Page works.
Opera’s CEO Lars Boilesen explained the rationale behind the new start page in the press release.
“When people think of using social networks on the go, they often imagine a smartphone with the latest apps installed. At Opera, we know that’s not the way a majority of mobile phone owners access their social networks. That’s why we’ve made ‘ordinary’ phones smarter, by making it easier to use the most popular social networks right in the first screen of Opera Mini for feature phones. Just because you’re on a more basic phone, doesn’t mean you can’t be a active social networker.”
Unfortunately, Smart Page is restricted to only J2ME, BlackBerry and Symbian S60 devices for now. Opera Mini for smartphones like iOS and Android also received an update. However, on smartphones the focus was more on improving rendering and performance than adding new features.
The preview release of Opera Mini 7 is available at opera.com/mobile/next/.