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Opera Mini 5 beta launched

Opera Mini 5 beta launched

The latest version of Opera Mini - version 5 Beta - features a far more modern interface than previous editions.

Opera Software has launched a public beta of the next edition of its popular browser for mobile 'phones, Opera Mini 5 - and it's looking a lot more stylish.

As reported over on CNet, the latest mini edition of the browser - available free of charge for both Java-enabled handsets and all Blackberry models - introduces quite a few features that you may more associate with the desktop edition of the browser.

Perhaps most obviously striking - once you've got past the user interface redesign that makes the app look a lot more stylish - is the introduction of a 'speed dial' page: when the browser is first launched, a customisable menu featuring small thumbnails of your most visited sites is shown. While this results in fewer bookmarks being immediately accessible compared to previous versions of Opera Mini - which used a text-based list instead - it's certainly visually striking, and can make it easier to find the site you're after on a small screen device.

The next desktop feature to make it over to Mini is support for tabbed browsing: scrolling up past the split address and search bar brings up the option to open multiple tabs, making it much easier to have several pages open at once than previous editions. A password manager has also been include for those who have a tendency to forget their login details, although this can be disabled via the software's Privacy options.

The UI has had several usability improvements as well as a thorough modernisation, with the requirement to launch an editing page to type into a text box finally being removed in favour of an in-place editor - although this can be disabled if you prefer the older method of doing things.

Sadly, several features you may have become used to in prior versions are absent from the beta: support for skins is currently missing along with the ability to turn any site into a search engine, but it's the loss of the recently introduced Opera Link functionality that's likely to be the deal-breaker for most wanting to try out the beta. Opera Link offered users the ability to synchronise bookmarks between the desktop version of Opera and Opera Mini on their handsets. However, it must be remembered that Opera Mini 5 is still a beta, and it's more than likely that the company will put the functionality back in place before the final release.

The latest beta is downloadable from Opera's mobile site, and will co-exist quite happily with previous versions of Opera Mini if you're not ready to commit quite yet.

Is Opera Mini still the king of the mobile browser hill, or is this the company's last gasp before Mozilla Fennec kicks it into touch? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

10 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
MajorTom 17th September 2009, 11:24 Quote
Already got it on my mobile. Brilliant.
couzo 17th September 2009, 11:52 Quote
Really nice little browser. Light and fast and also displays pages really well.

Now I just have to wait to get a better phone as my omnia is so laggy and needs to be hit with the power of a baseball bat to respond to my finger presses gggrrr
Kalym 17th September 2009, 11:58 Quote
This browser is awesome, even on my aging TytnII. ;)
eek 17th September 2009, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
mobile 'phones
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The next desktop feature to make it over to Mini is support for tabbed browser
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making it much easier to have several pages open at once that previous
Quote:
but its' the loss
Was this article typed on a mobile device or is the editor on strike? An unusually high number of errors for such a small item, and these are just the things I noticed immediately , there could be more! :)
RostokMcSpoons 17th September 2009, 12:38 Quote
I've tried it, and it's very nice, but the only thing I've not figured out is how to 'un-zoom' a page... double-tapping on a page used to toggle between zoomed and un-zoomed (iirc), but now it doesn't.

I've also noticed the menu / icon bar popup sometimes doesn't expand fully, so I need to scroll between the top and bottom lines, which sometimes leads to me accidentally selecting the wrong option.
Gareth Halfacree 17th September 2009, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eek
Was this article typed on a mobile device or is the editor on strike? An unusually high number of errors for such a small item, and these are just the things I noticed immediately , there could be more! :)
I'll hold my hands up to most of those errors - a sad byproduct of typing at 0500 this morning - but "mobile 'phones" is entirely correct.
mi1ez 17th September 2009, 14:20 Quote
That it is. telephones = 'phones
eek 17th September 2009, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by eek
Was this article typed on a mobile device or is the editor on strike? An unusually high number of errors for such a small item, and these are just the things I noticed immediately , there could be more! :)
I'll hold my hands up to most of those errors - a sad byproduct of typing at 0500 this morning - but "mobile 'phones" is entirely correct.
You learn something new every day :)

What were you doing up at 5? You guys must work some insane hours!!
glaeken 17th September 2009, 17:52 Quote
Not bad. Wouldn't pay for the final version though when something like skyfire is free.
Gareth Halfacree 18th September 2009, 06:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by glaeken
Not bad. Wouldn't pay for the final version though when something like skyfire is free.
Opera Mini is free. It's Opera Mobile that you have to pay for.
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