Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Opera Mini v4.2 Beta Released

Yesterday, Opera released v4.2 beta of its popular Opera Mini web browser, designed for non-smartphones, but fully featured for smartphone owners, too. Opera Mini is a java-based web browser that passes traffic through its proxy in order to compress the various files coming to your phone. The result is usually a much faster browsing experience, and with less data transferred, which is good if you’re not on an unlimited data package.

New features in Opera Mini v4.2 Beta include a handful of new skins, which are basically colored themes for the browser. They have also recently opened a new server farm in the United States that will share the load with the main server, located in Oslo, Norway. Users in North America and Asia will notice significantly faster speeds, while European users should also notice a speed boost, as the load on the Oslo station is lessened.

For S60 users, another key benefit is that Opera Mini v4.2 can directly call the phone’s built-in RealPlayer for video clips. Previously, the app had to first call on the native web browser, which then called RealPlayer. Thus, you should see better performance and far less prompts for various confirmations.

You can download Opera Mini v4.2 Beta here, and note that it *can* be installed alongside the current Opera Mini, so you can have both on the same phone with no problems. Personally, I steer clear of java apps on my S60 phones, and will happily stick with the default S60 web browser.

Are you an Opera Mini user? If so, why? What features do you think set it apart?

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