The release of Opera Mini 5 Beta for Google Android follows the March 4 release of Opera Mini 5 Beta for Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x devices. Opera Software says Opera Mini 5 Beta for Google Android includes such features as Speed Dial, tabbed browsing and boosted speed. Although Opera lags behind competitors Google and Microsoft in the traditional browser space, data suggests that it leads in the mobile browser space for smartphones.
Opera Software released a beta of Opera Mini 5, the next version of its
mobile Web browser, for Google Android on March 11. The announcement comes
exactly a week after Opera announced it would release the same application for
Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x smartphones, indicating that the company is
committed to maintaining its mobile-browser market share in the face of
Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android includes features such as Speed Dial, tabbed
browsing, compression and boosted speed. It can be downloaded from Android
Market, the mobile-applications marketplace for Google Android, or from
this Opera site.
Opera made similar speed claims for the version released for Windows Mobile
devices, saying the application would compress data traffic by up to 90
percent, saving money in the case of devices roaming or locked in a
"Windows Mobile deserves a mobile browser that looks better, handles
better and delivers better than the default browser," Dag Olav Norem,
Opera's vice president of products, said
in a March 4 statement.
"We are pleased to offer the world's most
popular mobile Web browser as a native Windows Mobile application."
The latest releases follow February's unveiling of Opera
10.50 for Windows,
which the company touts as "the fastest browser
that supposedly runs applications up to eight times faster than the previous
version, and a new Vega graphics library. It also includes private browsing,
the ability to use the search engine of choice directly from the address field
and, for developers, support for HTML5 and CSS
2.1 and a good portion of CSS 3. Opera is
likely hoping that the newest browser will help it claim points from the
products currently ahead in traditional browser market share, including
Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Opera's market-share picture is somewhat rosier, though, when it comes to mobile
browsers. Opera has said the Opera
Mini mobile browser has around 50 million active users,
having hit that
mark in January. That number represents a year-over-year increase of 150
percent. Opera Mini is currently the most-used smartphone browser, according to
analytics company StatCounter, occupying 24.6 percent of the market in contrast
to Apple's Safari browser for the iPhone, with 22.3 percent. If both the iPhone
and the iPod Touch are included in those calculations, though, Apple claims a
37.2 percent market share.