Opera Mobile 10.1 Beta Joins IE, Firefox, Safari in Smartphone Browser War
The Opera Mobile 10.1 beta runs on Android smartphones and brings tabbed browsing and other speed features as Opera continues to challenge Microsoft IE and Apple Mac Safari for space on the small screen.A beta of the Opera Mobile 10.1 browser debuted on the Android smartphone platform challenging established players including Microsoft for control of the small screen. Opera Mobile 10.1 beta was released on Nov. 9 and is available in the Android market at no cost. Opera Mobile is similar to the Opera Mini browser and users of Mini will see similarities between the two. According to Opera, the primary difference between the two offerings is that the Opera Presto browser engine is hosted on an Opera server while the engine is onboard in Opera Mobile. Mini is smaller and sometimes faster, but also sometimes slightly less accurate Website rendition, while Opera Mobile provided me with a very smooth user interface experience and snappy action during my tests. I used Opera Mobile 10.1 beta on a Samsung Vibrant Android handset running on the T-Mobile network.
Much of the Opera Mobile interface will be familiar to Opera Mini users. The Opera Mobile beta uses chiclet-like tiles showing open Web pages to help smartphone users jump to sites. The Web tiles are also used to organize the user browsing experience including a feature Opera calls "Speed Dial." In addition, I was able to set Opera Mobile as the default browser on my Vibrant and manage bookmarks and access my browser history quickly through the plain-but-serviceable user interface.