Opera Mini 8.0 for Java ME, with night mode on.
|Initial release||August 10, 2005|
|Written in||C++, Java, Pike|
|Included with||Nokia X family, Samsung feature phones, devices by Celkon, Karbonn, Lava, Intex, Fly, Zen, HCL ME, and other manufacturers|
|Engine||Presto (using server-side rendering)|
|Platform||Android, Bada, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Java ME, Symbian-UIQ3, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone (beta), 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 2004. After limited releases in Europe, it was officially launched worldwide on January 24, 2007.
In July 2012, it was reported that Opera Mini had 168.8 million users as of March 2012[update]. 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Functionality
- 3 Features
- 4 Market adoption
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 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.
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.
Most Opera Mini versions use only the Mini server-based compression method, with maximal compression but some issues with interactive applications. Non-Mini versions of Opera for phones and computers originally operated in uncompressed mode; from v10 a selectable server-based Turbo mode (called "off-road" in some versions) was added, similar to Mini mode, but bypassing compression for interactive functionality, at the expense of less extreme data compression. Opera Mini 8 for iPhone, released in 2014, can operate in Mini, Turbo, and uncompressed modes, effectively combining the functionality of the Mobile and Mini versions. Turbo and Mini modes reduce the amount of data transferred, which reduces cost on some phone contracts and increases speed on the slower connections typical of mobile phone networks; with a high-speed connection uncompressed mode, without delays due to diverting through the Opera server, compressing by the server, and expansion by the device, may work faster.
On 3 September 2014, Opera started taking registrations for the beta version of Opera Mini for Windows Phone. Opera Mini was released for Windows Phone six days later, on 9 September 2014, as a public beta. This marked Opera's return to Microsoft's mobile platform since the demise of Windows Mobile.
The functionality of Opera Mini mode is somewhat different from that of a conventional Web browser, with the amount of data which has to be transferred much reduced, but with some loss to functionality. Most versions of Opera Mini only work in this mode, but the Opera Mini 8 program for iOS, but not the Blackberry/J2ME version, was completely redesigned and can switch between Mini, Turbo, and uncompressed modes, gaining functionality at the cost of lower compression in non-Mini modes.
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.
The display may be toggled between portrait and landscape mode by keystrokes, or will switch automatically on phones with orientation sensors. The default orientation can be changed.
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.
Bookmarks, Speed Dials, and search engines could be backed-up to My Opera until it closed on 3 March 2014, and kept synchronized between different phones or with the Opera browser on computers, using the Opera Link service.
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 Indonesia, Russia, China and Brazil.
- 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)
- 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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