Opera Mini 7.5 for Android displaying its start page.
|Initial release||August 10, 2005|
|Written in||C++, Java, Pike|
|Platform||Java ME, Android, Bada, Windows Mobile, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Symbian-UIQ3, Zeebo|
Opera Mini is a web browser designed primarily for mobile phones, smartphones and personal digital assistants. Until version 4 it used the Java ME platform, requiring the mobile device to run Java ME applications. From version 5 it is also available as a native application for Android, bada, iOS, Symbian OS, and Windows Mobile. Opera Mini is offered free of charge, supported mainly through deals with mobile operators to have Opera Mini pre-installed in phones, and other sources of revenue such as search advertising deals, licensing and paid bookmarks and Speed Dial placement.
Opera Mini was derived from the Opera web browser for personal computers, which has been publicly available since 1996. Opera Mini began as a pilot project in 2005. After limited releases in Europe, it was officially launched worldwide on January 24, 2006.
Opera Mini requests web pages through Opera Software's servers, which process and compress them before sending them to the mobile phone, speeding up transfer by two to three times and dramatically reducing the amount of data transferred, chargeable on many mobile phone data plans. The pre-processing increases compatibility with web pages not designed for mobile phones.
In March 2012, it was reported that Opera Mini had 168.8 million users. In February 2013, Opera reported 300 million unique Opera Mini active users and 150 billion page views served during that month. This represented an increase of 25 million from September 2012. In January Opera announced that it is working on a new browser dubbed Opera "ICE".
- 1 History
- 2 Functionality
- 3 Features
- 4 Market adoption
- 5 Critical reception
- 6 Awards
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Opera Mini was derived from the Opera web browser for personal computers, which has been publicly available since 1996. Opera Mini was originally intended for use on mobile phones not capable of running a conventional Web browser. It was introduced on August 10, 2005 as a pilot project in cooperation with the Norwegian television station TV 2, and only available to TV 2 customers.
A beta version was made available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland on October 20, 2005. After the final version was launched in Germany on November 10, 2005, and quietly released to all countries through the Opera Mini website in December, the browser was officially launched worldwide on January 24, 2006.
On May 3, 2006, Opera Mini 2.0 was released. It included new features such as the ability to download files, new custom skins, more search engine options on the built-in search bar, a speed dial option, new search engines, and improved navigation.
On November 1, 2006, Opera Mini 3 beta introduced secure browsing, RSS feeds, photo uploading and content folding into its list of features and capabilities. Content folding works by folding long lists such as navigation bars into a single line that can be expanded as needed. A second beta was released on November 22, and on November 28, the final version of Opera Mini 3 was released.
On November 7, 2007 Opera Mini 4 was released. According to Johan Schön, technical lead of Opera Mini development, the entire code was rewritten. Opera Mini 4 includes the ability to view web pages similarly to a desktop based browser by introducing Overview and Zoom functions, and a landscape view setting. In Overview mode, the user can scroll a zoomed-out version of certain web pages. Using a built-in pointer, the user can zoom into a portion of the page to provide a clearer view; this is similar to the functionality of Opera's Nintendo-based web browsers. This version also includes the ability to synchronise with Opera on a personal computer.
Prior to Opera Mini 4, the browser was offered in two editions: Opera Mini Advanced for high-memory MIDP 2 phones, and Opera Mini Basic for low-memory MIDP 1 phones. Opera Mini 4 replaced Opera Mini Advanced. The older Opera Mini 3 Basic was still available for low-memory phones as of 2012[update].
Originally, Google was the default search engine on Opera Mini. On January 8, 2007, Opera Software and Yahoo! announced a partnership to make Yahoo! search the default instead. On February 27, 2008, Opera Software announced that Google would henceforth be the default search engine for Opera Mini and Opera Mobile.
It was reported in the New York Times on October 27, 2008 that an iPhone client had been developed. Opera submitted the App to the App Store on March 23, 2010, and it was approved on April 13, 2010.
On August 16, 2009, Opera Software released Opera Mini 5.0 beta, which included tabbed browsing, a password manager, improved touch screen support, and a new interface, with a visual Speed Dial similar to the one introduced by Opera Software in their desktop browser.
The browser's use of compression and encrypted proxy-based technology to reduce traffic and speed page display has the side effect of allowing it to circumvent several approaches to Internet censorship. Since November 20, 2009, there have been reports from Chinese users that when they use Opera Mini, they are redirected to an error page leading them to download Opera Mini China Version. This is almost certainly due to the Chinese government being concerned that users are using Opera Mini to bypass the Great Firewall in China. Opera agreed to route all of their traffic through government servers.
2009–2010: A press release announcing that Indonesia's Smart Telecom had chosen Opera Mini for their devices said that Opera Mini was the world's most popular mobile browser, and that Russia and Indonesia were the largest users.
Unlike straightforward web browsers, Opera Mini fetches all content through a proxy server and reformats web pages into a format more suitable for small screens. A page is compressed, then delivered to the phone in a markup language called OBML (Opera Binary Markup Language), which Opera Mini can interpret. The data compression makes transfer time about two to three times faster, and the pre-processing improves the display of web pages not designed for small screens.
By default, Opera Mini opens one connection to the proxy servers, which it keeps open and re-uses as required. This improves transfer speed and enables the servers to quickly synchronize changes to bookmarks stored in Opera Link.
For devices with screens 128 pixels wide or smaller, the default rendering mode is Small-Screen Rendering (SSR). In this mode, the page is reformatted into a single vertical column so that it need only be scrolled vertically. Long lists and navigation bars are automatically collapsed (hiding most of the list or bar) by a feature known as "content folding". A plus (+) sign is displayed next to the collapsed content; when clicked, it toggles content folding.
Web developers can turn on SSR on the desktop edition of Opera to see how their websites will be displayed on mobile editions of Opera.
In SSR mode images are scaled down to no more than 70% of the screen size in either direction.
Complex script rendering
According to the documentation for Opera Mini 4, before the page is sent to the mobile device, its
onLoad events are fired and all scripts are allowed a maximum of two seconds to execute. The
setTimeout functions are disabled, so scripts designed to wait a certain amount of time before executing will not execute at all. After the scripts have finished or the timeout is reached, all scripts are stopped and the page is compressed and sent to the mobile device. Once on the device, only a handful of events are allowed to trigger scripts:
onUnload: Fires when the user navigates away from a page
onSubmit: Fires when a form is submitted
onChange: Fires when the value of an input control is changed
onClick: Fires when an element is clicked
Opera has published Web content authoring guidelines to assist authors.
Opera Mini may be set to landscape mode, where it will rotate the page 90 degrees. This is useful for screens that are significantly taller than they are wide. However, this feature was not available as of 2012[update] on BlackBerrys without a gyroscope and some other devices.
Opera Mini supports only one font, which can be set to "Small", "Medium", "Large", or "Extra large" size. If a web page uses Courier or a generic monospaced font, the one font is still used, but the characters are spaced out so that each character takes up the same amount of space.
Opera Mini supports shortcut keys, skins, and a web feed aggregator. It can save bookmarks, download files, save web pages for offline reading, and it remembers the user's browsing history.
Privacy and security
Opera Mini, since 3.0 Advanced, encrypts the connection between the mobile device and the proxy server for privacy and security. The encryption key is obtained on the first start by requesting that the user press random keys a certain number of times. Opera Mini 3.0 Basic does not support encryption. Opera Mini has been criticised because it does not offer true, end-to-end security when visiting encrypted sites such as paypal.com: when visiting an encrypted web page, the Opera Software company's servers decrypt the page, then re-encrypt it themselves, breaking end-to-end security.
This reduces security, and is relevant to applications such as Internet banking.
As of version 4, Opera Mini uses the same layout engine that is included in Opera 9.5. Consequently Opera Mini supports most of the web standards supported in Opera 9.5. However, unlike the desktop edition of Opera, Opera Mini includes no support for Web Forms 2.0. Also, frames are flattened because of client limitations, and dotted and dashed borders are displayed as solid borders due to bandwidth and memory issues. As Opera Mini reformats web pages, it does not pass the Acid2 standards compliance test.
Opera Mini supports bi-directional text, meaning that it can correctly display right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew in addition to languages written left-to-right. However, it will not display right-to-left text if the font size is set to small or very small. Indic and Chinese scripts are supported only if an appropriate font is installed on the device as the default system font. Opera Mini does not display text in italic or other formatting besides boldface.
Low-memory device support
For MIDP 1, low-memory devices, the older Opera Mini 3 Basic is still available. Its features include an option to increase the text size, as the default text size is too small for some web sites. Opera Mini 3 Basic uses less advanced compression, does not support full page view, does not include support for favicons, does not scroll as smoothly, does not feature a built-in clock, and does not support encryption. When browsing an encrypted web page with Opera Mini 3 Basic, the page is decrypted before being sent to the mobile phone.
Opera Mini relies on data centers processing the Web page before sending it back to the phone in a compressed binary form.
- Data center in Japan
- Data center in USA
- June 30, 2009 - TeliaSonera International Carrier will provide Opera with co-location for establishing a new data center in Poland
- Data center in Iceland
The overall share of the Opera family in the mobile Web browser market was about 26.92% in October 2009. Figures for Opera Mini within this were not available. Most of users come from India, Indonesia, Russia, China and Brazil.
Several mobile network companies pre-install Opera Mini on their mobile phones, including AT&T, Vodafone, T-Mobile, KDDI, Omnitel, Pannon GSM, Telefónica Móviles de España, TMN, Airtel, and Tata DoCoMo.
- Motorola V980, E2, L7, i1
- Nokia Nokia Asha series, 2610, 2700 classic, 2730 classic, 3110 classic, 3120 classic, 3500 classic, 3600, 3600 slide, 3710 fold, 3720 classic, 5000, 5070, 5130, 5230, 5310, 5500 Sport, 5610, 6080, 6085, 6103, 6131, 6233, 6288, 6300, 6303 classic, 6600 slide, 7373, 8800 Arte, Nokia C3, E65, N71, N73, and N95
- Sony Ericsson K310i, K530i, K550, W200i, W205, W760i, W910i, Z530i, Z550i, Z780i
- Samsung X160, E570, E420, F480, X510, X650, E900, E250, U700, ZV60, D900i
- LG K880, KU250, KE970, and KU311
- SAGEM My411x and P9521
- BenQ-Siemens EL71 and EF81
- BenQ E71 fight
- Orange Rio (ZTE-G X991)
- debitel (Germany)
- eBay (Germany)
- Grameenphone (Bangladesh)
- Helio (USA)
- HT Telecom (Europe)
- MegaFon (Russia)
- Meteor Communications Ltd. (Ireland)
- Mobile Weaver (Unwirepark)
- mobilkom Austria (Austria)
- Onet.pl (Poland)
- Optimus (Portugal)
- Pannon (Hungary)
- Safaricom (Kenya)
- Small Planet
- Smart Communications (Philippines)
- Smart Telecom (Indonesia)
- TDC A/S (Denmark)
- TIM (Brazil)
- UTV Indiagames (India)
- Virgin Mobile (USA and UK, following their acquisition of Helio)
- Vodafone Romania (Romania)
- Vodafone Czech Republic (Czech Republic)
- Wind Hellas (Greece)
- MTN (Nigeria)
Reaction to Opera Mini has been largely favourable. Opera Mini competed against its sister product, Opera Mobile, for the 2007 Smartphone and PocketPC Magazine award for the "best mobile browser for both Windows-based Pocket PC and Smartphones" award. Opera Mobile is a more powerful web browser that runs directly, not through a proxy, on smartphones and personal digital assistants. Opera Mini lost the award to Opera Mobile because at the time Opera Mobile supported Flash and tabbed browsing while Opera Mini did not.
- Laptop Magazine Editors' Choice Award
- Sony Ericsson Content Award for "Productive Mobility" 2007
- Getjar "Mobile Application of the Year Award" 2007
- Mobile Gala "Best program for mobile phones" 2005 and 2006
- CHIP.de Digital Lifestyle Award 2006
- NDTV Gadget Guru Awards 2010, Best application of the Year
As of late March, Opera Mini has had a text issue which has affected many people using Samsung's Bada operating system. The company has had nothing to say on the issue.
- Opera Mobile
- Opera (web browser)
- Firefox for mobile
- MarioNet split web browser
- Amazon Silk
- ThunderHawk (and the discontinued Bolt)
- uZard Web
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