Opera Software, the company behind the popular and oldest mobile browser Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers recently announced that some technology behind its browser would be changed. Opera has released its first Android browser built on the WebKit rendering engine which is famous for powering mobile browsers like chrome, safari, and BlackBerry 10 browser.
Opera says the open-source WebKit will make it browser faster, on par with Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android. So the company can now concentrate on producing new features for the new browser instead of developing Presto.
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A beta version of the first browser from Opera that uses the WebKit engine has a new look, although Android users would be familiar with the new look. The browser have three types of main screens, they are: History, Speed Dial and Discover. History screen contains the list of visited web pages. Speed Dial consists of icons representing a collection of bookmarks or folders that contain bookmarks. While the Discover page contains a collection of new articles based on the app location settings and selected favourite topics.
Aside from the new look, the new Opera browser powered by WebKit engine has a feature called Off-Road. When the Off-Road feature is activated, all requests from the browser goes through centralized Opera servers which will fetch the web content from the source, compress the content before sending the compressed content back to the mobile browser. The bandwidth is reduced by 90% when Off-road mode is activated.
Below is a summary of the features imbedded in the new Opera Browser powered by Webkit engine:
• New look: Opera for Android sports a completely new user interface that is more elegant and built to the native specifications of the Android platform.
• New, revamped Speed Dial: Opera’s engineers discovered that users like to have links readily available in the Speed Dial, yet also wanted the flexibility of a bookmark folder. With the new Speed Dial, the bookmarks are fused together with the Speed Dial entries to provide a new experience. It’s easier to group, organize and rename Speed Dial entries or gather them in folders — all with the touch of your thumb.
• Discover feature: This provides a new way of discovering content on the web. From the Discover panel of the startup screen, you can read a selection of popular articles and dig deeper into your interests, such as sports, technology, lifestyle or news. Opera has selected relevant global and regional sources, so let Opera do the surfing for you.
• Tabbed browsing: The elegant tabbed browsing makes it easier than ever to browse, open and sort all your open browser windows on your phone. It even offers private browsing, just like the Opera desktop browser.
• History: With the easily accessible history mode, return to that page you saw earlier today fast — just swipe your finger to the right to access the content on the left on your home screen.
• Save for later: This feature lets the user download a complete webpage and read it later while offline. It’s perfect for reading long articles on flights without Wi-Fi or just when you don’t want to connect to the internet.
• Off-Road mode: Opera for Android integrates the compression technology from Opera Mini, for faster browsing when conditions are rough. Bad network or costly roaming while traveling? Just switch to Off-Road mode and keep on surfing.
• Combined search and address bar: Opera has combined the search and URL field for a more elegant UI and more intuitive input.
The Opera browser is available for Android users to download free online from Google Play Store or Opera Website @ www.opera.com. This browser supports Android devices with phone-sized screens from version 2.3 and up.