WEB BROWSER DEVELOPER Opera Software released its latest Opera Mini browser for Android smartphones, which boasts faster hardware acceleration plus some user interface tweaks.
Available as a free download from the Android Market or Opera's mobile web site, Opera Mini 7 for Android features improved hardware acceleration that makes for faster browsing and smoother panning around web sites, the firm said.
Other improvements include changes to the user interface such as the option to add as many Speed Dial buttons as the user wants. Previously, users could have only nine of these visual bookmark thumbnails for accessing favourite web sites on the Home screen.
Opera Mini also uses Opera's Turbo feature that is designed to speed web browsing and cut download sizes by routing all web page requests through a proxy server operated by Opera.
The proxy server optimises web pages, compressing them by up to 90 per cent before forwarding them on to the browser on the user's handset.
Opera Mini faces competition from Google's Chrome, which was released for Android last month, while the native Android web browser has already passed it in popularity according to some reports.
Opera Mini 7 requires handsets running Android 1.5 or above. µ
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