Despite the fact that nearly every mobile phone produced in the last four years has been capable of accessing the internet, a large number of people still never use their handset to access the trillions of pages of content on the world wide web. One of the reasons for this may well be that the default internet browsing software bundled with most phones leaves a lot to be desired. Typically rating poorly for usability and design, your phone’s built in browser is something you’d only want to resort to in an emergency.
Opera Mini, on the other hand, is a pleasure to use. Its myriad improvements on my Nokia 6230i’s default browser make web browsing from my phone something I may actually do from time to time!
Opera Mini’s Small Screen Rendering (SSR) engine is the base of this great little program. Designed to make the most of any mobile phone’s screen, SSR works by reformatting pages you request so that they match your handset’s screen. The major benefit of SSR is a more ‘real’ web experience: pages and images are resized to match your handset, allowing for a browsing session that feels much closer to your home or office computer. The only downside to SSR is that it could end up costing you more in data transfer, if you don’t have a data plan on your phone.
Other improvements that Opera Mini offers include smooth scrolling of web pages, a ‘built-in’ home page (which means you don’t need to connect to the web until the moment you press the ‘search’ button), full-screen browsing and seamless installation with your current internet settings.
Opera Mini does a lot to improve the mobile internet experience – and hopefully opens the door to further competition in this growth market.