Opera Mini 4 beta

~ 19 June 2007 ~

Mobile Web Design, a book by Cameron Moll

The new Opera Mini 4 beta is out today. Among a variety of new features, the most notable of these is content zooming — the ability to see an entire web page and zoom in or out (also referred to as adaptive zooming or mini-map navigation, if I’m not mistaken). This makes possible the viewing of full-featured websites as seen much the same from a desktop PC.

Here it is installed on my Sony Ericsson K750i showing nytimes.com:

Alternatively, there’s also video from Opera showing a Nokia model, same site.

It’s obvious the UI isn’t nearly as slick as the iPhone, and it lacks multi-touch input, among other things. But then again, Opera Mini is compatible with dozens of phones and costs a whopping $0. So in 10 days if you find yourself short $500 and time to stand in a lengthy line, consider Opera Mini 4 as Plan B a great alternative for mobile web browsing.

 

9  Comments

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1   John Arnor G. Lom ~ 19 June 2007

…the next question to ask you, as a mobile web expert would of course be, whether this (ie. full-fledged zoomable web content) is the right thing.

I know you’ve made the point in the past that people don’t want the same content on their 3” phone display as on their 20” display at home, but have your thoughts and views on this changed post-iPhone?


2   Scott O'Raw ~ 19 June 2007

Thanks for posting the video Cameron.

I appreciate you saying that the UI is not as slick as the iPhone, but what are your impressions of using ‘mini-map navigation’? Did you find it frustrating or a genuine solution to viewing “full” websites from your phone.

Being in the UK I have to wait a lot longer than 10 days for the iPhone so Opera mini 4 might just fill a hole.


3   Gerrit van Aaken ~ 19 June 2007

“Content zooming” seems like an excellent topic for the last chapter of your mobile web design book, which I’m going to buy only a few minutes seconds after you are publishing it. Which hopefully will be only a few days after the release of the iPhone. Am I right?


4   Cameron Moll ~ 19 June 2007

what are your impressions of using ‘mini-map navigation’? Did you find it frustrating or a genuine solution to viewing “full” websites from your phone.

In general, the idea of content zooming seems to work okay. However, I still haven’t bought off on the idea of having full-featured sites on your phone, 1) because network speeds are still slow and will be for the foreseeable future, and 2) the contextual relevance of mobility is ignored.

“Content zooming” seems like an excellent topic for the last chapter of your mobile web design book, which I’m going to buy only a few minutes seconds after you are publishing it. Which hopefully will be only a few days after the release of the iPhone. Am I right?

Content zooming will be covered, and the book should be available really soon — progress continues to go well.


5   graste ~ 20 June 2007

The Small Screen Rendering mode is still there in Opera Mini 4 (if you don’t want to zoom). And about the network speed: it’s not Opera Mobile - the pages get reformatted and scaled down before they get delivered to the mobile phone. Additionally they will be cached if possible. So network speed will probably be in favor of Opera Mini (in comparison to all the other mobile browsers). :)


6   Cameron Moll ~ 20 June 2007

Correct. But watch how long it takes to go from the home page to a secondary page in my video. That’s network latency/lag, not Opera Mini.


7   graste ~ 20 June 2007

Ah, okay. I see. :)


8   Andropen ~ 29 June 2007

Nokia OSS browser forever:) but it don’t understand flash, waiting for new versions


9   Nick Tew ~ 06 July 2007

Cameron, in regards to your network’s still be slow comment. I can see this changing very rapidly in the UK with T-Mobile leading the way with their WebnWalk offer.

Are you guys in the USA making such progress with speed?




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