Opera Software Announces Widgets for Opera Mini

Opera-Mini-Widgets Opera Software has announced that widgets will now be available on any device capable of running Opera Mini. This is in line with what we were told at Capital Markets Day 2010.

Opera Software has been heavily promoting widgets ever since its inception. To be frank, Opera widgets on desktop are not very useful. However, the situation is quite different with Opera widgets for mobile. Over there, tiny applications such as widgets are often just what a user needs. For example, a simple eBook reader or currency converter is an extremely handy app to have on a mobile phone. On the other hand, the developers get the opportunity to develop applications, which will work on almost any phone.

Our new Widgets platform releases operators and manufacturers from the native application box and gives them the tools needed to develop Web-based content that is fun, useful and available to everyone,said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.

The new widgets platform will take advantage of the recently announced cross-platform UI framework. By rebuilding Opera Mobile Widgets Manager with the new UI framework, Opera Software is hoping to help mobile service providers and handset manufacturers deliver a better, more unified user experience on nearly any phone.

Mobile Web Browsing Just Got Smarter – Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 Released

I don’t know what the developers at Opera Software have for breakfast, but it is certainly good stuff. Over the past few weeks, they have been churning out new releases at a frantic pace. Closely following the release of Opera 10.50 for Windows and Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android and Windows Mobile, Opera Software has just released the final builds of Opera Mini 5 (for Java and Blackberry handsets) and Opera Mobile 10 (for Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile).

Opera-Mini-5-Tabs

Opera Mini 5 designed to work on pretty much any phone that supports J2ME applications. Native versions are available for some platforms (such as Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Android handsets), however the feature set for all editions is similar.

Opera-Mini-5-Typing

Opera Mini 5 is a huge improvement over Opera Mini 4 and bears little resemblance to its predecessor. The interface has been completely revamped and is both stylish and intuitive. New features include tabbed browsing, visual speed dial, adaptive zoom, touch-screen support, password manager, privacy manager, download manager, inline editing, find-in-page and copy-paste support. Existing features such as Opera Links (synchronization), RSS feed reader, address auto-completion and landscape mode have been retained.

Opera-Mobile-10-Symbian-Settings

Opera Mini is currently the most popular mobile browser in the world with more than fifty million users. Its biggest advantage is speed. In order to overcome the limitations imposed by the weak hardware of basic phones, all webpages are routed through Opera’s servers, where they are rendered and compressed. Opera claims that it can reduce size of pages by up to 90%, thus providing a dramatic speed boost while reducing bandwidth costs.

Opera-Mobile-10-Symbian-Webbrowser

Opera Mobile 10 is the more feature-packed brethren of Opera Mini and currently supports Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile. It features the same rendering engine (Presto) utilized by Opera for desktop and is better suited to render dynamic content.

Other features include tabbed browsing, password manager, privacy manager, kinetic scrolling, auto-rotation, adaptive zoom, touch-screen support, find-in-page and speed dial. Opera Mobile 10 also retains Opera Turbo, which once again relies on server-side compression to reduce bandwidth usage and increase surfing speed on slow connections.

Opera was one of the first companies to envision a united open web. This has allowed them a head start over competitors. However, they aren’t resting on their laurels. Keeping in mind the needs and wants of our 50+ million users, we have emphasized speed, desktop-like functionality and data savings in our mobile browsers. Today, we have made it even easier for everyone to surf, search and socialize on the Web,said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. Opera Software’s latest mobile offerings retain their tradition of innovation and are indeed a force to be reckoned with.

[ Download Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 for your handset ]

Lobbying For Opera On The iPhone

Let’s get this clear, Apple has a very bad practice of rejecting apps, which are uhm, better than what they can come up with (amongst other reasons) for frivolous reasons a potboiler movie could be made out of.

opera-mini-iphone[1]

In the next few weeks, will submit a new browser to the app store for the . The Opera browser for iPhone looks brilliant and has features which Apple could not cook up in the previous 3 4 generations of iPhone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a iPod Touch and love browsing on Safari, but the fact is that Opera is a better mobile browser, and I have used it extensively on my Symbian S60 phone (and also on a Phone) for years now, however, I am sad for fanboys while I say that the Opera browser rocks and Safari sucks.

The fact that Opera has touch to enlarge portion and single finger navigation makes it much better than Safari which has pinch to enlarge, based on the videos I have seen. Repeated requests to Opera team members to send me the actual Opera app has gone unheeded.

I can envision a funny scenario on the email that Apple sends to Opera while rejecting their app from the app store:

Sorry, we have rejected your app, because we don’t want competition and don’t include apps which are better than ours. To top it your browser has tabbed navigation for easier access, a better home screen, a better touch interface and in the end makes Safari look like a lame app? For this and only this reason, should we say these reasons, we are rejecting the Opera Mini browser application from the app store.

Please feel free to distribute your app through Cydia or any other channels which jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch use, after all it’s free right? We support and wish you best of luck with the unofficial app store for people who crack their devices because they think we are on crack. Cheers!! Steve Jobs and company. Oh well, cheers from Apple too.

We don’t need lobbyists to push how good the Opera browser will turn out on the iPhone or iPod Touch. However, knowing Apple, they would not allow a "much better" app, specially a browser "which is a competition to an apple product", to float around on the iPhone, specially when it competes with Safari. 100 cheers to closed software and stupid app approvals.

Let’s hope that Apple does approve the app and gives me a chance to not jailbreak iPhone to enjoy the forbidden fruit. If Apple does a turnaround and approves Opera for the iPhone and iPod Touch, I promise all the fanboys that I will buy an .

3 cheers to Opera, hope to see you soon on the iPhone.

Opera Mini 5 Beta For Android Released

Close on the heels of the launch of Opera Mini for Windows Mobile, Opera Software has released Opera Mini 5 beta for Android handsets.

The new beta for Android contains all the features we have come to love in Opera Mini. It attempts to provide a desktop like browsing experience through features such as tabbed browsing, visual speed dial, bookmarks and password manager. Android users should not have to compromise when it comes to surfing the Web on their phones. Opera Mini will give Android users a fast and cost-efficient access to their favorite Web sites and services,said Dag Olav Norem, Vice President of Products, Opera Software.

Opera-Mini-Android

Opera Mini lacks multi-touch and flash support, but tries to make up for the missing features through sheer speed. All webpages are compressed (by up to 90%) before being sent to your device. This dramatically increases browsing speed while reducing your bandwidth bills.

Android users can download Opera Mini from the Android marketplace or by visiting m.opera.com/next with their Android browser.

Opera Will Power Vodafone’s Android App Store, Opera Mini to Support Widgets

Today Opera Software hosted its fourth Capital Markets Day in Oslo, Norway. You can download the excerpts of the event from here. Although, the document doesn’t provide any detailed information about their future plans, there are quite a few interesting revelations:

  • Opera Mini Widgets: Opera has been tirelessly promoting widgets, which are essentially tiny applications developed utilizing web standards. Widgets are currently available only in Opera Mobile and Opera for desktop. However, Opera will soon be introducing widgets to Opera Mini. This is a significant announcement, as this would allow even basic phones to run web-applications (widgets) such as eBook reader and Twitter Client.
  • Opera “Bream” UI: At the moment, little is known about Bream, but Haavard K. Moen teased that it “covers the entire mobile value chain”.
  • Opera-Platform

  • Revolutionizing the TV: Opera is already focusing on emerging segments such as Television sets. Opera estimates the number of connected TVs to grow from 14.7 million in 2009 to 87.6 million in 2013. It intends on building a HTML5 based open applications platform for TVs. The development platform and developer tools are expected to be launched later this year.
  • Continued Collaboration with Global Operators: Currently Opera has agreements with 11 out of top 30 mobile operators globally. It plans on increasing both short-term and long-term revenues by teaming-up with even more extensively with device manufacturers and mobile operators. Opera will be powering Vodafone’s Android app store client.
  • Opera Turbo to Go Mobile: Opera will be introducing Turbo devices (possibly in collaboration with Vodafone). Opera Turbo is a technology, which was introduced in Opera 10 for desktop. In Turbo mode, all webpages are routed through Opera’s servers, where they are compressed to dramatically reduce page load times on slower connections. Exactly what Opera means by Turbo enabled devices is not clear, as Opera Mobile 9.6 already supports Turbo.
  • More Than 100 Million Users: Opera currently has 48 million desktop users and more than 50 million mobile users. The total desktop market share is estimated to be 1.73 billion users. This means that Opera’s desktop market share is approximately 2.7 %. Opera estimates its mobile market share to be around 26%.
  • Opera-Revenue-Framework

  • Impact of Ballot Screen: After the soft launch (website launch) of the ballot screen, Opera’s daily download rate tripled in several European countries. The impact of the actual launch (on March 1) should obviously be much larger.
  • Opera-Ballot-Screen-Impact

Opera Mini Comes To Windows Mobile phones

Traditionally, Opera Mini has been available as a Java software intended to run on a large range of phones. However, Opera Software has also been working hard to port it to as many different platforms as possible. Opera Mini 5 already supports Blackberry and native Android and iPhone apps are under development. The only major mobile phone OS which Opera had been missing out on is Windows Mobile. However, that is no longer the case as Opera has just launched a native version of Opera Mini 5 beta for Windows Mobile 5- and 6-based handsets.

Opera-Mini-for-Windows-Mobile

Opera Mini for Windows Mobile will include all the features we have come to expect from Opera Mini including tabbed browsing, visual speed dials, password manager, download manager, touchscreen support and synchronization. The biggest advantage of Opera Mini is speed. Each of the pages are compressed and rendered at Opera’s servers. Opera claims that it can reduce the size of webpages by upto 90%. This results in a significant speed boost and can even reduce your bandwidth bills.

By integrating Opera Mini with the Windows Mobile platform, Opera Software is hoping to deliver an optimized version of the popular browser that will dramatically improve performance and the overall user experience. “Windows Mobile deserves a mobile browser that looks better, handles better and delivers better than the default browser,” said Dag Olav Norem, Vice President of Products, Opera Software.

You can download Opera Mini for Windows Mobile by browsing to m.opera.com/next from your mobile phone. Alternatively, you can download it to your computer from opera.com/mini/next/.

Ericsson To Launch eStore With The Help Of Opera

Sony_ericsson_estore

Sony Ericsson, with the help of Opera web browser announced a comprehensive application store solution, called the Ericsson eStore. With Opera Web technology, including Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and Opera Widgets, the eStore enables operators to provide a branded application store to their subscribers. The eStore concept offers a wide variety of free or premium Opera Widgets, as well as native applications.

Since the eStore is an open platform that many operators can share it’s cost efficient.  Opera’s cross-platform capabilities allow the eStore to serve as a one-stop-shop for customers to purchase and start using new applications on their mobile phones and other devices.

Due to Opera’s cross-platform capabilities, we are able to help Ericsson deliver Web based solutions across a wide range of devices," said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software ASA. "We are excited to be cooperating with Ericsson on their new eStore, and to help deliver superior Web experience to the potential one billion subscribers who are accessing the eStore on various devices and platforms."

 

Jason Ford, Handmark VP of Development and Distribution, says: "We fully support the eStore and see it as a great platform for helping to deliver a fantastic mobile shopping experience, while also connecting brands and businesses to a loyal and engaged group of mobile users."

 

As of now the Sony Ericsson eStore is available in 25 markets worldwide.

You can visit http://www.ericsson.com/estore/.

Run Opera Mini 5 On Your Desktop

Opera Mini is the most popular browser for mobile phones and smartphones and has been making navigation on phones much more easier with tabbed browsing and touchscreen navigation. Now what if you want to test out Opera Mini, but can’t install it on your phone because it is not supported?

Well, thanks to a Mobile emulator, you can now run and test the Opera Mini browser on your desktop including Windows, Linux and Mac because it is based on Java and will run on any system which supports Java. Here are the instructions on how you can run Opera Mini on your PC, courtesy My Opera and Kabatology.

Step 1: Download and extract the Micro Emulator to your PC.

Step 2: Download the Opera Mini (.jar and .jad) files to your PC from http://www.operamini.com.

Mobile Micro Emulator

Step 3: Navigate to the folder where you extracted the Micro Emulator and double-click on microemulator.jar. A new application should open up as seen in the screenshot above.

Select Resizable Devices

Step 4: Now go to "Options -> Select Devices" and select Resizable devices from the available options and click on the "Set as default" button, finally click on the Ok button.

Step 5: Now click on the "Resize" button and set your preferred size.

Opera Mini 5 on Desktop

Step 6: Now click on "File -> Open MIDlet File" and select the Opera Mini .jad file you downloaded earlier, once the file is loaded just click Start and you can start experiencing Opera mini on your desktop.

You can also use the emulator to run other J2ME apps on your desktop PC. Enjoy!!