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 ever-increasing competition.
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 pay-per-usage plan.
“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.”
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.