BlackBerry Software: Hands-On with Opera Mini 4.1 Beta

By Ryan Blundell on 23 Apr 2008 12:37 am
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Opera Mini puts the Full Web on your Phone

A few weeks back, Kevin first gave us the news of the upcoming Opera Mini 4.1 beta release while he was at CTIA. (lucky guy…) Like most of you, I was salivating and awaiting for its release. Well, it didn’t take long and I was one of the incalculable happy users enjoying a new application on his/her BlackBerry.

Another reason why Opera Mini is a great application to have is because it’s FREE!! Opera Mini saw its beginnings as a pilot project in 2005 and was officially unleashed upon the world on January 24th 2006. Just over 2 years later, you and I are now proud beta users of their 4.1 version of the browser.

Now this is a first for me, reviewing a beta version of an application… Dun, dun, dunnnnnn……!! Typically with beta releases, there will always be bugs to discover.

Obviously with the new version, there will be new features. Now I know you want to hear all about it, so go ahead and click “Read Full Review”. C’mon… You know you want to…

Browsing the Browser

See? Aren’t you glad you clicked it?

For the review, I brought Opera up close and personal with my 8310. Opera Mini 4.1 beta offers some great additions to an already fantastic browsing experience:

Now Even Faster - I feel the need, the need for speed! The folks behind Opera Mini had recently upgraded their servers, which had increased their speed by up to 50%, boasting desktop like speeds. I should also note that previous versions weren’t slowpokes either! The browser felt faster than the typical web browsers you may find out there.  For larger sites, such as CrackBerry.com, it may still take a while to load completely. In circumstances like this, you may want to stick with a WAP browser. When I finally laid eyes on the fully loaded site, the layout wasn’t properly aligned, in fact some text seemed to overlap. Despite this, I was quite impressed.

Find Things Faster - Navigating has never been easier with your new option to search for text within a web page. There are a couple of ways to do this; you can either press # then * and enter the text you are looking for, or go to Menu>Tools>Options> Find in Page. As your requested text is then found and highlighted in green, you’ll agree that the response time is quite remarkable.  Knowing I would get numerous results, I searched for BlackBerry. Opera Mini would find the earliest entry, but to find the next one, continue pressing your BB icon button and select Next.

Get to your Web sites faster - Wow, it seems like EVERYTHING is faster about Opera Mini. Dubbed an URL auto completion or text-ahead by some, this feature was designed to help you save time with your browsing. When I first entered this fine website into the address bar, it gave me CrackBerry.com, CrackBerry.net and CrackBerry.org. To truly utilize this feature, make sure you use your bookmarks. That way Opera Mini can use both your history and bookmarks to suggest an URL you are attempting to enter.

Download and upload files - Oh the power we now wield. No longer are we forced to launch the BlackBerry native browser to download software or even add attachments to your email. This of course is dependant on which Web-based email clients you are using.

I’m mostly a gmail user and unfortunately their WAP site won’t let me add attachments to outgoing email. This will work with BlackBerrys with Firmware of 4.2 and newer, as the older versions don’t have JSR-75 support that is required. For more info on JSR-75, click here.

Save it for later - Speaking of JSR-75, another advance feature you can access is the ability to save web pages for offline viewing. So if you find yourself somewhere with no reception, you can still read up on your favorite web findings.

Now before I clear my browsing history…

What can I say about a product that continually gets better? Um…thank you? These newest features, coupled with the already established solutions including a virtual mouse, “power scrolling shortcuts” (2,4,6,8), custom search shortcuts and CSS support, make for one amazing ride on the information super-highway. Opera Mini’s reign is stronger than ever and I don’t think that it’ll be over, even when the fat lady finally sings…

For more fun, check out the video overview, with an ultra high budget (yeah right).

So what are you waiting for? Download Opera Mini 4.1 Beta!

Pros

  • Faster Speeds
  • Upload and download using Opera Mini
  • Save web pages for offline viewing
  • URL Autocompletion

Cons

  • some web pages load up cluttered

Download


6 comments

Anonymous

I've tried using v3 and 4 of Opera on my 8830, and it rarely was able to load a web site. I thought it might be a CDMA thing, but when my friends tried it on their GSM Curves (two different people), they got the same results. The rare time it did work, I liked it, but it worked so infrequently that I removed it. Maybe this new version will be the charm.

elmalo13

i have the new 8120 and im new with pearls i cant get this to work how would i make it work it keeps saying that is uneble to connect

flairbrtndr3

i like the browser on the 4.5.0.18 beta much better

johnnywoods

The older versions had too many bugs. Pages not found or unable to load. So far so good with the 4.1 Beta.

Strwberri2001

I have the Curve 8330. I love it. The pages are great and I don't have to fight to view all I need on the screen. It is almost like netscape nagivator on the pc.

bx2md

I JUST DOWNLOADED IT ...AND IT IS GREAT ITS ALOT FASTER IN MY OPPINION THAN THE NORMAL BROWSER
I SAY GIVE IT A TRY AND IF YOU DONT LIKE YOU CAN ALWAYS DISINSTALL IT