Yesterday Opera team released a major update (version 14) of Opera Mobile browser for Android. The new Opera Browser is a completely redesigned and overhauled avatar of its older sibling – the Opera Mobile. Opera has dropped version number 13, directly skipping to 14 from 12.5 (the last version of Opera Mobile). With this release Opera has accepted the fact that the distinction between desktop and mobile devices is getting blurry by the day. With Quad-core CPUs, RAM in GBs, big 1080p displays, Android smartphones are giving tough competition to their bigger-counterparts (desktops/netbooks). Like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome (for Android), Opera also renamed “Opera Mobile” to just “Opera Browser”. Opera claims it to be faster, slicker and less power consuming than older version. Following are some of the new features of Opera Browser –
1. More “Android-ish” native UI built from the scratch. There are 3 swipable home screens – history, speed dials and “Discover”
2. New glossy, visually appealing speed dials with easy to create speed-dial folders function. Now multiple pages can be merged to create a group (at a single speed) – to create a group/folder just drag and drop one or more speed dial(s) at another speed dial.
3. At “Discover” home screen you will get all the important news content automatically curated from the web (according to the country you choose). Its like homepage of portals like Yahoo or MSN. Besides country you can also filter the content according to the available categories.
4. Navigation bar position can be changed (top or bottom)
5. URL address bar and search bar has been merged into one
6. Private browsing feature has been added
7. Off-Road mode – off road mode is just like the “Opera turbo” function of desktop browser. It uses server-side data compression technology to load pages faster and save data cost
Interestingly iOS and other mobile operating systems are still to get this new version although Opera has promised to oblige them soon. One more thing, Opera has also clarified that the new Opera Browser will not replace their more popular and smaller mobile browser Opera Mini which will continue to be available for all mobile platforms including Android.
You can download the new Opera Browser (version 14.0) for Android smartphones from m.opera.com or Google PlayStore (not still available for Android Tablets).