back to article Opera rewrite comes to Android

Norway's gift to the world of technology, the Opera browser, is now available for Android in an entirely new version. This cut of Opera for Android has been in beta for a while and has apparently done sufficiently well to be pushed out of the door and into the cold, hard world that is Google Play. There it will find itself in …

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Erm

And this is different from the Opera Mobile and Opera Mini I've been using since Android 2.1 ?

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Boffin

Re: Erm

Yes.

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Re: Erm

This is effectively Opera Mobile plus Opera Mini. Also they're now using the webkit rendering engine (which they weren't with Opera Mobile)

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Re: Erm

OK got my update this morning.

I've never seen the "app is not responding, wait, cancel etc" box before on Android.

Managed to reinstall opera mini - but can't find opera mobile anymore

Opera mini doesn't handle the accept conditions redirect page on the free wifi here.

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Unhappy

Tried it this morning

and regretfully uninstalled it less than 10 minutes later.

Looks nice, shiny new features...code bloat city (versus previous version). Did not run well on my phone so I went backwards and it looks like I may have to stay there for a while.

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Meh

Re: Tried it this morning

Looks like we're starting to see the results of Opera's firing of all their browser engineers. I wouldn't stick with the old version for too long, because now nobody is releasing security updates for it.

On the upside, I now get to play with other browsers. First, I'm trying Dolphin.

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WTF?

Re: Tried it this morning

Is it different to the last version? I installed it and on first running it presented a list of things I must give up to run the software (first born etc.) After about page 20 I just uninstalled it.

Seriously? It is designed to be run on a mobile and has an EULA with 100000000 lines?

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FAIL

Re: Tried it this morning

I have a Galaxy S2, which may no longer be cutting edge but I suspect is at least an average spec'd smartphone for 2013, yet this new updated Opera runs terribly slowly. Opening up my tabs is noticeably slower than it was previously, as is loading the app itself. Reading websites is now rather difficult - is it just me or does the font size of text on websites change randomly? - and zooming in has become not only jerky but highly inaccurate (it no longer consistently treats my double tap as the area I want to zoom into!). Writing in forums is nigh on impossible as it places the cursor in a random position in the text box. The search bar isn't compatible with swype (it no longer automatically places spaces between words). Oh and it seems to have deleted all my previously saved pages/bookmarks.

So yeah, all in, a great improvement http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/mushroom_32.png

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tried it this morning

On my S2 Swype doesn't put a space in between words in any search bar for stock browser, old Opera, or Chrome, and text size certainly jumps around on Chrome. I found previous versions of Opera rather slow, so it looks like no reason to try it again.

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Re: Tried it this morning

Hmm, interesting. Swype used to work fine for my before the update.....

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Happy

Optional

Yay!

--posted from Opera for MIPS android (2.2) Opera 12.00-ADR1205181259

...Oh...this Ingenics/Cruz t301doesn't have access to Google Play? (prepares cassette-to-cassette dub setup to get copies of .apk)

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Mushroom

Their only chance of a future...

is to bundle the browser on top of an off-the-shelf RTOS and rebrand it Opera OS, pitching to OEMs as a cheap smartphone-a-like, in much the same way as Mozilla are doing. All phones come with a browser these days, and very few people ever change the one that ships. Do the math.

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Re: Their only chance of a future...

That's what they used to say about Internet Explorer.

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Headmaster

Not for tablets

Opera Mobile, ie. the full version, has never been very popular on mobile devices. This is in contrast to Opera Mini which according to Akamai has been losing market share over the last few weeks. It's wrong to lump the two together and StatCounter appears to be doing, but if that is the case then the move to "Blink" is probably the way to go. Phones have got powerful enough to be able to render websites where there used to benefit from server-side processing for Mini. This is now a handicap because of the inability to handle Javascript locally. Opera Mobile on the other hand retains the ability to use the Turbo proxy to reduce the volume of data transferred whilst being able to execute any scripts.

Be interesting to see how this plays out. At the moment I can't test the new build with my Galaxy 8.9 because it is "not compatible". I assume this is a form factor issue.

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Noticed that the version on my Desire HD had updated itself ...

.... sadly, Opera Mobile is still shit.

Until Chrome is available for more ossified versions of Android (or HTC do an OTA update of the OS, but I suspect that Hell will freeze over first) it's the least worst option as far as I can see. Unfortunately, again, rooting my phone isn't an option.

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Re: Noticed that the version on my Desire HD had updated itself ...

Why hello fellow Desire HD owner. I concur...Opera's latest just doesn't run well, at least not on the Desire HD. Can't tell about my TF700 as it's listed as "not compatible" in Play.

However, the real shocker for me was discovering that Firefox on Android is probably the fastest mobile browser I've used. The desktop version still stinks, what with random hangs, memory hogging and going into can-only-be-killed-with-task-manager land, but the mobile version is quite good, especially on the ancient Desire HD.

Only problem is extensions are touch and go. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But it's fast.

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It sounds as though I should stick with the old Opera Mobile for now. My phone is low-powered and short on space, although I'm loath to replace it since it has a lovely little screen. (It was originally an Orange San Francisco Mk1. Now it thinks it's a Jelly Bean ZTE Blade.)

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Opera on the Blade

>(It was originally an Orange San Francisco Mk1. Now it thinks it's a Jelly Bean ZTE Blade.)

Recently upgraded from my Blade (what an amazing little phone) to a Huawei G510.

I'd installed this when it was in beta (and therefore could sit alongside Opera Mobile). It worked, and speed was iffy but fine. The issue I had though was that it needed to sweep away about 6 of my biggest apps in order to fit. So yea, stick with Opera Mobile. You'll be better off in every respect.

That said, being a Blade owner, I know how much you'll be used to running the latest and greatest, and being amazed that you can!

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FAIL

Arrrse!

I forgot and updated all my apps when the Play Store asked me, and that included Opera Mobile going to the new Opera. Which crashed immediately on start-up. Every time.

Rather than revert with a backup, I'm trying different browsers.

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Seems I jumped to the GS4 just in time. Opera Mobile was already clunky on my old phone (so were all the other browsers, though). I've mixed opinions. It runs fine here, but what about older phones?

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Well like I say, is very slow/jerky on an S2.

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Jah

Opera runs fast on my HTC One and S3. I prefer it to Chrome. Faster rendering - tested with www.theverge.com

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Silver badge

I suspect memory has more to do with Opera's performance than anything. The problem with my old G2 (aka Desire Z) was that it only had some 384MB on board, most of which was taken up by the system and essential processes, leaving maybe 80-100MB or so to play with. As the web became more interactive, Opera Mobile struggled to stay within its bounds, and Turbo/Off Road didn't help any because most of the advancement was in scripting, which those things can't accelerate much. As Opera hung up more and more, I realized the problem was only going to get worse. That was the sign to me that time was pretty much up for my phone.

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Latest FF ain't too bad, for older devices. Esp the beta version. Doesn't FC as often as it used to.

Tried Dolphin, seems put things all over the place. Slide this, slide the other.

Opera. Yes, I don't like the zillions of permissions it wants either. Granted some are for html5 and you can turn em off but still it's a mighty long list.

I'm currently fiddling with 'Boat'. Seems to have fewer permissions than most and it's reasonably small and fast. I did like Ninjinksy put it seems to have gone by the wayside. It hardly wanted to know anything about you.

they all seem to 'require' access to your whole device history these days though.

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Silver badge

The main problem I've seen with lightweight browsers like Boat and so on was that to fit in those small memory footprints they had to eschew various rendering capabilities like CSS layouts, fonts, and especially scripting (which more and more sites require). It ultimately came down to a case of they made too many sites messed up to the point of unusability.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear...

Old version was fine, this one is rubbish, just a bad webkit wrapper..

No control over tap to zoom level, default is too small

No separate search box, keyboard doesn't add spaces

Getting black pages on full screen, even though the thumbnail shows correct content

No exit button

No separate reload button, the new one is too far away to reach with my thumb like allt the other browsers (left handed on Note 2)

They broke and it didn't need fixing.....

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Re: Oh dear...

No exit button ? Yes it does have one, hold the back button and there it is, along with the option to show all the history (as you get in the stock Android browser), and the back button history.

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Re: Oh dear...

thanks for that. that was one of my issues with the update.

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Installed .... crap!

Titanium backup ...... restore app with data

Old opera ... back to where it was.

Job done!

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works

for me on my s2 (cyanogen 4.2.2) and performance is acceptable. zoom levels, however, not so good. tapping like a morse code operator to get things at a readable size. used to use opera mini on my old nokia (some symbian based thing...can't remember the catchy numbers) and it dealt with pages better than this.

back to dolphin (and very occasionally firefox) for me.

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Not as good as Opera Mobile 12 on an Xperia Play

Very sluggish, have had to investigate new browsers and have ended up with Dolphin as FF takes too much internal memory up.

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