Opera Mini 4 beta released, test drive simulator available


Opera_mini_4This morning Opera released their widely anticipated Opera Mini 4 web browser in beta. You can hit up the Opera Mini 4 site and use the beta on practically any traditional mobile phone that has web access and start optimizing the big Internet for your small-screened device. If you’d rather give the new version a test drive, you can do so right here: no helmet or other safety gear is required.

Blackberry and Palm OS device owners can use the new browser as well, but you folks are special. You get a manual installation which you can find here for Palm and here for Blackberry.

The virtual mouse looks pretty neat and I see some other enhancements that make this version better than the prior: the suggested reading spot and power scrolling jump out at me on the Top 10 features list. Then again, they might have been in the prior version; since I don’t use a standard mobile phone, I might have missed them last time. ;)

Update: Daniel Goldman from Opera reached out to me; he’s got a complete list of the new features right here. Most interesting: a new ‘desktop’ layout that looks to compete squarely with Safari on the Apple iPhone. Thanks Dan!



Once I got it to actually run on my Palm TX (it crashed several times when I first installed it), it didn’t look too much different than the previous versions — with the exception of the new web page thumbnail view (or whatever they call it) and virtual mouse thingy. This feature seemed neat, at first, but after a while it dawned on me that this was just the old “pan-and-scan” method slightly enhanced by the ability to use the “virtual mouse” to move around rather than having to use the “scroll bars.”

And, it still requires Palm users to load the IBM Websphere JVM — which eats up more than 1 meg of RAM space by itself.

Blazer has always been sufficient for me on my TX. I didn’t really see anything in this new version of Opera Mini to make me want to switch. And, considering the additional overhead needed to install and run it on a Palm, and the fact that all of your data streams through someone else’s servers, it’s even less attractive to me.

Off it came.

Mike Whalen

I keep trying it and trying it and I’m just not excited. Yes, the “desktop” mode is interesting, but it really messed up the rendering of the few pages I tried it on. (Things like tables getting squished so everything

Ugh. I don’t know what I expected on a Blackberry, though.

Dwight Silverman

This doesn’t run well on my Samsung BlackJack … but then the BlackJack doesn’t play well with most of the 3rd-party apps I’ve tried (Google’s mail client, for example).

But even when it does run, it seems slow and clunky, at least with the BlackJack’s rocker switch, and text quality is awful.

Matthew Miller

I ran this new browser on a T-Mobile Wing and a Nokia N95 and it ROCKS! I will be using it as my new default browser on the Wing and I hate to say it, but it even looks like it is beating the awesome S60 browser too. I wrote up some thoughts on my blog and find the quick navigation, plethora of shortcuts, full screen (no menus at all) and speed to be outstanding and better than the S60 browser so far.

Philip Ferris

Mixed reactions over with my Jaiku contacts, works on some N95s not on a couple of others. Darla mack reporting that it is not recognised on her E62.

Apart from the scrolling i am not sure it will give me a great deal so i am concentrating on the jaiku beta.

hotspots of any sort being so rare I doing the tehter phone to notebook thing but at least it’s a 3G signal :-)

On the subject of jaiku you really should come over guys, if it was a vacation i would describe it thusly:

the water is warm, the sun is shining and there’s plenty of fun to be had on the beach.

Mike Cane

Ok, I’ll bite. I’ll put it on my LifeDrive to give it a whirl.

This will make the THIRD damned browser on it.

My main problem has been finding an open public (legal!) HotSpot. One place now sends a Certificate the other 2 browsers can’t handle.

And Bryant Park’s WiFi seems to be down, dammit.

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