Opera Mini: browse the WWW on your mobile phone

Opera Mini” I’ve always been a fan of having mobile internet access. It’s the geek in me I guess. That said, it’s also been handy for those down the pub moments where everyone is desperately trying to remember something (who was it who created Rupert the Bear again? Oh I know this. It’s on the tip of my tongue…) and after hours nobody can quite remember, and life takes on that single purpose to (apart from ale consumption) force the name out of the dusty depths of your memory.

Anyway, I digress…

Opera Mini version 2 has just been released, and represents, in my mind, a breakthough in mobile web browsing. It’s a tiny (94Kb) file that you download to your phone (or send it via Bluetooth), with a really simple interface, and dead easy instructions (which only cover two screens worth of text on my Sony Ericsson K750i). It works by sending the requested URL back to Opera, who act as a proxy (so bear that in mind for privacy’s sake), who reformat the relevant page, server side, to fit on your device. That includes recompressing images to fit on your display, and thus saving your precious bandwidth, time, and processing power.

The result is a nippy little browser, that has Google and Wikipedia searches built in to its homepage. When you go back a page, a nifty slide transition is used, and it’s very, very quick (from my limited 10 minute use today). I’ve used quite a few browsers on various phones, all crammed with features that seem cool, but then go unused. Opera Mini’s minimalist approach is just what I’ve been after, and I think it’s well worth a go if you’ve had tiresome mobile web browsing experiences in the past.

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