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Mobile Browsing: Opera Mini 4

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For anyone who fearlessly treads into the internets with small boots on, Opera have recently released their next generation mobile browser: mini 4 - play with it on a virtual phone 8)

For those who don't know, Opera mini is a thin 100kb java app (thus works on almost all mobiles out there) that uses highly compressed link to dedicated servers (transmitting 5-12X less data, saves mucho money!). The server does the hard work of content resizing for mobile-sized screen (minimising phone overhead). It uses the latest 9.5 engine, thus offering very advanced standards support.

You can browse in overview mode, then zoom into the content you want (ala iPhone but without the cost). You can also use a landscape mode for better horizontal display space.

You can sync your bookmarks with it via Opera link. It will also auto-magically create custom searches from search-boxes (as Opera desktop does).

It gives the mobile a virtual mouse, and very useful key navigation.

I usually browse NYTimes on the move, and it really does do wonders to the readability of that site on the move. If you do any mobile browsing, you may find your small boots will be just a wee bit more snug...

I've read quite a few DC posts while on the bus or anywhere else for that matter with Opera Mini. It's an awesome little app.

Highly recommended!

For any HTML code monkeys out there, there are some great articles about how to code web sites to be mobile friendly:

Basically, Opera is pushing one-web, a standrds driven unified web, and not lots of little fiefdoms (iPhone pages, Windows mobile pages etc). Using elegant semantic markup and core W3C standards you can make sure your web site will look good on any platform / device...

Apple, who have previously been great proponents of an open web, have failed to provide such clear guidance when it comes to the iPhone, failing to support CSS3 media queries properly for example. Ans so iPhone web sites may not work with other devices, just as IE / Netscape battles of the 90s caused incompatible sites on desktop...

Opera Mini 4 looks good. As with previous versions of Opera Mini, it makes Web browsing via cell phone (almost) bearable.

I have a couple questions if anyone knows the answer:

1) In previous versions of Opera Mini you used to be able to select one of several different skins via Settings, but I don't see this feature in v4. Did they nuke this feature in the latest version?

2) What is the Mobile View setting supposed to do? I've enabled/disabled it, but I don't see any difference


I can't answer the first question, but mobile view enables additional content reshaping to ensure vertical-only scrolling. It does depend on the site as to how it works, some sites are already well optimised, others not. In the desktop version, it is kind of like the very cool fit-to-width which stops web sites creating horizontal scrollbars as much  as possible.


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