Opera Software has released a beta version of Opera for Android. With this release, the company boasts a more organized browser with increased functionality.

Opera For Android

As technology changes, so do the tools that are used with it. So as smartphones evolve, so do the browser applications that are used on them. While Opera has its Opera for Mini product, it wanted to create a browser that was tailor made for Android users to give them a more complete and enjoyable mobile browsing experience.

offroadoperaandroid.jpg

Along with a redesigned interface, tabbed browsing, a history mode and a combined search and address bar there are a variety of other new features. They include:

  • The Discovery Feature: From the discovery panel on the app’s startup screen, users can find articles and other content relevant to their personal interests.
  • Speed Dial: The speed dial or bookmarks feature has been updated so that users will now put bookmarked content into a group so that they are more organized and easier to find.
  • Off-Road Mode: With this mode, Opera for Android uses Opera Mini’s compression technology so that users can still browse the internet when faced with a bad wireless signal or roaming charges.
  • Save for Later: Sometimes people want to read something later and with this feature, Android users can download a webpage from the Opera browser and read it in an offline format at their leisure.

Opera for Android is available from the company’s official website and the Google Play store.

To Browse or Not to Browse with Opera

Even though this update has just been released, there’s already been a a few comments on the application.

The layout is clean and intuitive, with the top bar giving you the ability to instantly add a webpage to Speed Dial -- Opera’s take on favorites and bookmarks -- as well as refresh the page,” said Chris Hall of Pocket Lint. “The navigation bar is clever too, as when you go to type into it you’ll get the option of selecting where you want to search.”

Not all comments have been positive however. On the Google Play download page, Opera for Android has a ranking of 4.5, but those who left a review found that while the app works well, there is room for improvement.

“A commendable effort in terms of fluidity and new UI, however Opera needs to start including a wider variety of user agents to support tablet browsing,” said user David Ang.

Opera in the News

Opera, which has provided browser services for desktop, mobile and tablet devices, has been concentrating on the mobile side of the business. In February it bought Skyfire Labs to improve what itcan offers mobile users and towards the end of the month it announced Opera Mediaworks, an advertising, content distribution and monetization platform for mobile devices.