The granddaddy of mobile web browsing has cleaned up a bunch of bugs from their Opera Mini 4 Beta, and released a new beta 2 version available for free download. Beta 1 actually didn’t work at all on my BlackBerry 8800, so it was nice to get it running and have a go at Opera Mini. The low-res image loading is a good way of keeping data traffic down, but the virtual mouse scrolling is a little chunky. Keypad scrolling goes quicker, but I’d like to do most of my browsing with the scrollball, so a higher sensitivity option would be nice. Outside of that, Opera’s added a few BlackBerry-specific features, such as native menus and “lots of optimizations”. Viewing web pages in their native format is nice, but really slows down actual browsing, and let’s be fair, it’s a bit of a joke compared to the iPhone’s Safari. Regardless, it’s still great to have a free, full-featured web browser available for other mobiles.
* Now you can add the search engine of your choice to the start page, just like in the Opera desktop browser. Hey, now you could put Google Search on the start page.
* Shortcut keys
* Browse in landscape mode — view the Web on a wider screen (Shortcut key: ‘#’ and ‘*’)
* Native menu for BlackBerry phones
* Lots of optimizations for BlackBerry phones
* Content folding – Collapses long menu lists (like those found on sidebars of webpages), so you don’t need to scroll through them to get to the page content. Note: This only works in “Fit to width” mode, not desktop.
* Supports secure connections for banks, eBay, etc.
* Small fonts have been enabled
* Simplified setup process
* Improved image quality
* Improved cookie support
* Ability to edit the current URL
* Added ‘Full screen’ mode
* Dialogs now use web 2.0-ish look and feel
* Added support for more phones
* Fixed a ton of bugs