Opera Mobile for Android has been updated to introduce many of the shiny new features of Opera 11.6 and 12 to the mobile platform. The most visible change is the new “Infinite Speed Dial”, which supports bookmaking of as many websites as you want. Previously, you were limited to only 9 speed dials (visual bookmarks) in Opera Mobile. However, the biggest enhancements in Opera Mobile 12 are all under the hood improvements.
Opera Mobile 12 features the Ragnarök HTML5 parser that was introduced in its desktop counterpart a few months back. Opera promises better web apps and increased compatibility with websites with the new parser. Native webcam support and device orientation detection specifications of HTML5 have also been implemented. As a result, Opera Mobile 12 now scores a whopping 354 points on HTML5Test.com. Chrome for Android, which supports only ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich), and Safari for iOS score 343 and 305 points respectively. Head over to shinydemos.com to check out the fancy new capabilities of Opera Mobile 12 and compare it with your mobile browser.
Opera Mobile 12 also does WebGL, which even Chrome for Android doesn’t support. WebGL is a graphics library that leverages the GPU (graphics processing unit) of a device to render complex 3D graphics in a web browser. “Opera have contributed significantly to the development of the WebGL specification and now Opera Mobile is playing a leading role in the roll-out of GPU-accelerated WebGL on Android,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA.
Opera has always focused on trying to be available on as many platforms and in as many form factors as possible. In that spirit, Opera has also released lab builds of Opera Mobile that are optimized for MIPS and Intel architectures. MIPS is expected to be powering several low-cost Android tablets in the coming months. On the other hand, Intel is desperate to challenge ARM’s dominance in the mobile market, and will have a number of device launches across the budget spectrum in 2012. “Intel looks forward to a bright future with Android on Intel Atom processors,” remarked Doug Fisher, Vice President of the Software and Services Group and General Manager of the Systems Software Division at Intel.
Opera Mobile 12 for Android is available for download from the Market.