Good news for Symbian users, yesterday (28th Oct 2010) Opera team released Opera mini’s first native version for Symbian OS (sis files for Symbian S60 2nd, 3rd, 5th edition and Symbian^3). It is a welcome (and a long awaited) addition as the Java version of Mini has many restrictions in Symbian phones. Unfortunately (unsigned) Java apps run in Symbian OS as outsiders: they are not trusted and don’t have access to many functions of the phone. Thus they are not as smooth to use as their Symbian counterparts (sis, sisx native Symbian apps). Opera’s press release says, this native version optimized for Symbian OS will significantly improve the usability of Opera Mini in Symbian phones. Following are the improvements in this version:
1. Better integration with phones OS and other apps (improved copy paste function)
2. No more irritating permission restriction pop-ups as is the case with Java version
3. Faster application “Start up” and “Exit” and speedy functions (especially noticeable in older Symbian S60v2 phones).
4. Better support for phones text input methods and fonts
Besides, all the usual functions of Opera Mini (Tabs, Speed dials and glossy UI) are also present in this version. It is currently available as version 5.1 beta (now in version 7) for all Symbian editions (signed version for 3rd, 5th and ^3). To download go to m.opera.com from your mobiles browser or via any version of already installed Opera Mini and select the proper download link. Or go to opera.com/mobile at PC.
Note that this Symbian version is different from Opera Mobile browser available for Symbian S60v3 and v5. Opera Mobile is a full blown browser that does not use server side compression thus loading the full pages (and thus huge data transfers) while Opera Mini compresses web pages on server before displaying on mobile screen (thus reducing data transfers up to 90%).