Opera 9.7 Beta now available for Windows Mobile devices

By on June 8, 2009 at 7:45 AM.

Opera 9.7 Beta now available for Windows Mobile devices

As Opera continues to chip away at its competition and gain mobile market share, you can bet it’s not resting on any laurels. The software company has just released its 9.7 Beta version for Windows Mobile and promises to render pages faster and with better compression. The new version also includes Opera Widgets manager. Do note that this is still in beta and will have some issues:

  • Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile is still a preview-feature;
    • Downloads don’t work while Opera Turbo is enabled.
    • Some settings (such as toggle on/off images) do not apply when Opera Turbo is enabled.
  • On older WM 5.0 Devices with 480×800 resolution, switching between portrait and landscape may cause display errors. This is due to lack of support for this resolution in early versions of Microsoft’s driver.
  • Some input method editors are known not to work well with Opera because they do not comply with Microsoft’s SIP and/or IME standard. When such an editor is detected by Opera, Opera will use a known (default) input method instead. An exception is EzInput v1.5, where the phone keypad and compact QUERTY, ABC mode doesn’t work, but the rest of the modes work fine. We recommend upgrading to EzInput v2.0 to avoid this.
  • Only support for FlashLite 3.x. No Flash plugin included.

Still, it looks like a fine upgrade and a great direction for Opera mobile, especially with the new widgets manager. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Opera tells Forbes to calm down, no US carrier agreements at CTIA

By on March 23, 2009 at 2:20 PM.

Opera tells Forbes to calm down, no US carrier agreements at CTIA

Following a report from Forbes last Friday, Opera has stated publicly — at least in PR speak — that it denies suggestions of one or more US carrier agreements rumored to be announced in early April. Forbes’ report suggested US carriers were finally “coming around” and the Oslo-based browser company would be announcing agreements to bring its mobile browser to subsidized handsets in the US at CTIA. Opera’s public response:

Opera is aware of statements in the media that Opera will announce one or more agreements with US operators in early April.

Opera would like to clarify that it has no plans to announce any US operator agreements to the OSE in early April as mentioned in the media.

Well that doesn’t leave much room for debate now does it? The idea of less-savvy users in the US having access to a more real version of the web from feature phones was definitely exciting as typical, casual users are unlikely to seek out a browser like Opera Mobile on their own. Alas, no such luck if this announcement is taken at face value. We’re sure Opera will continue to push its browser to US carriers and we can only hope deals will be announced at some point. That point however, will not be next week at CTIA.

Thanks, erik!

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Opera to announce deals with US wireless carriers?

By on March 21, 2009 at 5:31 PM.

Opera to announce deals with US wireless carriers?

Forbes is reporting that Opera is bypassing handset manufacturers and striking deals with US wireless carriers in an attempt to further the distribution of its popular mobile web browser. Opera currently has agreements with European carriers Vodafone and T-Mobile that places the Opera browser on the carrier’s mobile phones. A loose-lipped Opera spokesman revealed that Opera will also be announcing several US carrier deals at the upcoming CTIA Wireless conference in early April. The spokesperson declined to identify the carriers but the US only has 4 major carriers so you can take your pick. Regardless or which carriers will be scoring Opera Mobile come April, this will be a big step for both Opera and feature phone customers whose browsing experiences are about to get a boost.

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The future of Fennec may make it a serious mobile browser contender

By on November 10, 2008 at 6:32 AM.

The future of Fennec may make it a serious mobile browser contender

The mobile browser wars are on. The competition is between Opera, Mobile IE, Safari, Chrome, and the Blackberry Browser. So far, even iPhone haters would agree, Safari has yet to be touched. It only makes sense that one of the most popular browsers out there, Firefox, and their creator, Mozilla, would want to jump in on the mobile browser battle. A few weeks ago, Fennec, Mozilla’s upcoming mobile browser, was released to some beta testers but was only available for the Nokia N810 Internet tablet. While the programmers testing it out found a lot of bugs, they also felt there is a lot of promise for Mozilla’s latest browser offering. Jay Sullivan, vice president of the mobile division at Mozilla, says the reports from testers were positive and that JavaScript performance was on par with the browsers on Android and the iPhone’s Safari.

If anyone knows how to make a browser powerful, but user-friendly, it’s Mozilla. Fennec is going to be no different in terms of their end goal for the mobile browser. First, they intend to use every last bit of screen real-estate to the browser, removing all controls, tabs, and buttons that would take away from the body of the page. Sullivan says they want to “give over the entire screen of the device to the Web content, removing all user-interface controls entirely.” How will a user navigate, you ask? Certain screen controls and finger swipes (for touchscreens) will activate the UI controls in a snap. If that isn’t cool enough for you, future versions may also include support for haptic feedback. While this is all cool and snazzy, Fennec has its work cut out because the others (Safari, Opera, Blackberry, Symbian) have established themselves and are still making progress. For more info on Fennec and what its future holds, hit the link!

Thanks, Chris!

[Via UnwiredView]

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Skyfire enters public beta

By on September 24, 2008 at 3:13 PM.

Skyfire enters public beta

The mobile browser arena just got a little more competitive on Tuesday when the much-talked-about mobile browser Skyfire launched its public beta. Previously in private beta, the now public version opens up Skyfire to anyone in the US with a Windows mobile or a Nokia Nseries / Eseries S60 (3rd Edition) phone. Skyfire also received a version upgrade from 0.6 to 0.8 that features improved video streaming, faster page loading, the ability to download images and PDF files, and a redesign of the interface to incorporate more icons and less text. Best of all, Skyfire, unlike its competitors (cough, Opera Mobile) comes in at a nice price. It’s free!

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Google goes to war armed with a new web browser, Google Chrome

By on September 2, 2008 at 5:37 AM.

Google goes to war armed with a new web browser, Google Chrome

After single-handedly winning the online search wars, Google appears to be poised to now enter the browser wars. A comic book fashioned document has appeared online at the unofficial Google Blog, Blogoscoped. The 38 page scanned document details on open source browser project called, Google Chrome. It apparently will have many features of the most recent versions of Firefox, Opera, and even IE 8, including an incognito mode similar to IE 8’s InPrivate mode, tabbed browsing, and awesome Javascript support. Google confirmed the beta project on its blog and announced that it will launch the Windows XP version tomorrow in 100 countries. The whole comic book approach to introducing features is novel and throwing a new browser into the mix is just plain exciting; as long as Google remembers these three words, “No World Domination”. Look for a Mac OS X and Linux version in the near future.

UPDATE: It’s available today.

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HTC finally releases Windows Mobile 6.1 update for Sprint Touch

By on July 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM.

HTC finally releases Windows Mobile 6.1 update for Sprint Touch

It’s been so long that we almost stopped caring, but HTC and Sprint have come through to deliver a welcome update to the Sprint Touch. Unofficial versions of this firmware have been floating around the web for quite some time, but if you’re the sort that doesn’t like to color outside of the lines, you’ll be happy to know that the official Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade for the Sprint Touch is now available directly from the HTC website. The changes and enhancements that come along with the WM 6.1 upgrade are old hat by now, but we’d still suggest updating your handset if you have the chance, as you’ll reap the benefits of EV-DO Rev. A, enhanced GPS functionality, an OEM version of Opera, and more. Hit the jump for more info!

[Via WMExperts]

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Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta 1 Released

By on July 17, 2008 at 10:56 AM.

Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta 1 Released

News of the latest build of Opera’s ever-popular Opera Mobile browser has been floating around for a while now as anticipation grew. Now it’s here and well, it’s looking really good. Opera has given version 9.5b a pretty extensive overhaul both inside and out. Some highlights from Opera’s site:

  • Pan and zoom – Using the same technology found in Opera Mini, Opera Mobile 9.5 defaults to full Web page viewing and allows users to pan and zoom into their desired content in just a few clicks.
  • Save pages and/or images – With a click, simply save your selected content and send via email or MMS to your friends.
  • Improved user interface – Opera has completely renovated its mobile UI. Cleaner and more intuitive, the new UI is designed for quick and easy navigation.
  • Improved standards support – Opera remains steadfast in its commitment to make the Web accessible for all. Opera Mobile 9.5 is the most standards-compliant mobile browser available. It is based on Opera’s latest core rendering engine, Presto 2.1.
  • Faster – Opera has always been among the fastest browsers — if not the fastest — available. Opera Mobile 9.5 beta continues this fine tradition with noticeable speed improvements over Opera Mobile 8.65 and IE Mobile.

There are a whole bunch of known bugs in this early release and of course Opera asks that you notify them of any additional issues you might discover via the Opera Mobile forum. In terms of future plans for this latest release Opera lists widget support, Opera link, gears and Symbian support. In the meantime, if you’re packing a Windows Mobile device you need to install this asap. Compared to Internet Explorer Mobile, umm, actually just about anything is better than Internet Explorer Mobile.

[Via adonismobile]

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Opera Mobile 9.5 delayed

By on July 14, 2008 at 5:31 PM.

Opera Mobile 9.5 delayed

When we reviewed the HTC Touch Diamond, we noted that one of the most impressive features of the handset was its excellent web browser. The gesture support, text reformatting, and speed placed it on par with the likes of the iPhone’s Safari as one of the best mobile browsers experiences available to consumers. As it turns out, HTC is using a version of Opera’s Mobile 9.5 browser, software that was supposed to see a general public release by early July. Unfortunately, Opera has just announced that they have delayed the release of the browser until further notice July 17th. Apparently, the beta period revealed a number of bugs that have sent developers back to the drawing board. So sad. Check out the full statement from Opera below, and commence crying…now:

Some things in life don’t go according to plan — at least not in software development. We knew when we announced a release date before we finished development that a showstopper bug might be found that could alter the actual date we release the beta. 

As you can imagine, we encountered a few bugs last week that we needed to fix before we launch. Our engineering team worked through the weekend to fix the bugs. Even though our release is a beta, we’d rather spend the extra time to fix them, thus giving you a better experience. The fixes are almost complete now, but we need two more days to run the build through our quality assurance testing. The new launch date is now set for the 17th.

We’re disappointed to delay, but fixing these bugs will improve the experience with our beta and let you fully test the browser.

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