Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Opera Mobile 9.5 - Desktop Internet for Mobiles

Opera announced the commercial release of the latest version of its mobile browser Opera Mobile 9.5. Opera will be previewing this version exclusively at the Mobile World Congress 2008 that is to be held between Feb 11-14 at Barcelona, Spain.

Opera Mobile is currently shipped on more than 100 million phones around the world and Opera is expecting the OEM's will upgrade the mobile browser to version 9.5 and the reasons to do that is compelling. Opera Mobile 9.5 brings the desktop internet experience to the mobile phone through a lot of new innovations. Javascript, AJAX and Flash run on the Opera Mobile 9.5 just like it would on the desktop. If mobile handset manufacturers install Flash Lite 3 in the devices, then users would be able to experience youtube videos just like they would on the desktop. Opera Mobile 9.5 allows Web-page zooming, password management and offline browsing.

The Opera Mobile 9.5 experience includes many of the innovations found in Opera's trend-setting desktop browser including:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Improved text wrap
  • Page overview, zooming and panning
  • Landscape mode
  • Save Web page for future offline access
  • Call phone number from Web page
  • Send link as SMS/MMS
  • Send image as SMS/MMS
  • Small Screen Rendering™
  • Password manager
  • Web address input auto-completion
  • History and bookmarks
  • Copy text
  • Opera Widgets

There will be obvious comparisons of Opera Mobile 9.5 to WebKit, which is Apple's contribution to brining the desktop web experience to the mobile phone. WebKit is open-source and will be part of Google's Android platform. Currently its part of Apple iPhone's browser and Opera Mobile 9.5 has similar features to the iPhone's browser. But the good part about Opera Mobile 9.5 is that it can be installed on a wide variety of handsets and the vendors don't have to put in much efforts. Opera Mobile 9.5 also allows use of  Widgets that allow data retrieving from the internet without opening the browser. This enables a lot of different applications and new avenues for internet-based software applications on the mobile phone.

As I mentioned earlier, the Opera 9.5 SDK can help bring these features to other devices and thus opens a lot of new places for the developer. You can watch the video demo of Opera Mobile 9.5 below:

No comments: