Reviews

PRODUCT REVIEW

Opera’s Mobile Browser Hits the Right Notes

If you are reading this article, chances are you own a pocket PC or Palm-based smartphone or PDA. Chances are also great that you are in desperate need for a mobile Web solution.

Since the dawn of the Internet, transferring and receiving information has been the ultimate goal. PDAs and smartphones have allowed users to access this information anywhere you can get cellular reception. The only problem is not a limitation of technology but more a limitation in its implementation.

What do I mean by that? The software on these devices is archaic. Mobile browsing on a smartphone is horrible. There have been times when I just decided it wasn’t worth it anymore to even bother trying.

Browser Woes

One of the main issues at hand though isn’t the smartphones’ capabilities but the people writing the programs to make it all work. Smartphones and PDAs have always been great because of the portability and power they possess. With portability, though, there has always been the lack of software and support of the growing Internet content available.

Many companies have been working on ways to help bring the power of a full-size browser to your smartphone or PDA. A new browser by Opera is the latest entry in that effort. Opera has been around for years and has always played fourth or fifth fiddle to many major browser companies.

Now may be the time to change your opinion on Opera.

Opera has a winner with its mobile browser. No longer are you held in the grasp of Internet Explorer — Opera will open the Internet world up the way it was intended to be.

At first glance, Opera looks just like your regular smartphone-enabled browser. As with most technology, however, it’s what lies behind the curtain that makes this browser much different. Opera has gone out of its way to trim up the coding and find ways to make the mobile browsing experience faster. The effort has been a success. Opera not only will load faster but it will browse faster as well.

Understanding the Experience

The interface in Opera is not much different than any other browser, and that’s what makes it great. There is no learning curve. Installation is easy and at one click your Internet is ready to go. Bookmarking is simple, as is mobile interactivity. Opera has embedded a lot of critical features into its robust mobile browser. With that said, though, there’s another issue to keep in mind: the hardware.

While testing this browser I did what most normal users did — I went to Wikipedia. Wikipedia was great. Fast, easy to read, no formatting issues, just knowledge by the boatloads. My next stop was the ever-so-important Facebook. Loading up was fast and easy. I was able to get to my friends, send messages, change my online status, and do all sorts of great features you can do on a normal browser.

What’s Next?

Beyond Opera’s new mobile browser and its features, there’s a point that I preach to most of the people I talk to about technology and the Web: Having one browser to do everything is not going to happen.

The high demand of content and the differences between browser technologies that power them mean that having an arsenal of browsers at your disposal and knowing when to use them is important. As a Mac user, I have learned that Firefox doesn’t do everything, and Safari doesn’t come close to doing everything.

Opera has always been there to open those Windows-only Web sites neither of those browsers could get running for me (notably Citrix Server Web sites like American Airlines’ employee site). It’s so important to know your technology and to try different software titles. Opera is definitely one of these weapons in your arsenal, whether it’s on mobile devices or on your home computer.

The Mobile Revolution

As a mobile on-the-go user, I say install it. Use it and see if you like it. When it comes to browsing, personal preference reigns supreme, and it’s always hard to convince someone that one browser is better than the others.

My goal here is to tell you that Opera not only can perform any task you ask it to on the go, but it can do it with speed and precision. The interface is great, and if you are a busy businessperson on the go, clunky interfaces and slow speeds are something you don’t need.

In order for the mobile revolution to thrive, companies like Opera will continue to update and put development into mobile device software, so keep your eye out for updates.

Leave a Comment

Please sign in to post or reply to a comment. New users create a free account.

Elon Musk's Dec. 2 action to release The Twitter Files: Approve or Disapprove?
Loading ... Loading ...

LinuxInsider Channels