- There are some new hotkeys on handhelds with a dialpad. In addition to the well-known 2/4/6/8 buttons for page scrolling; in full page view, you can use button 5 for quickly zooming in and out (which does the same as the combination of Action and the right softkey, but more conveniently). Furthermore, while the #-prefixed buttons are the same, there is another welcome new hotkey: screen rotation with *# :
This, currently, only rotates between left-handed and portrait view. (In this respect, version 2.04 of the Russian Opera Mini hack (which I don’t link in by purpose – sorry, the app has been declared illegal by the Opera folks) is (still) better: it offers rotating to all the four directions. Not that it’d be that important: on a device with a built-in, slide-out keyboard, it’ll always switch to the right direction when you open/close the keyboard, regardless whether the keyboard opens to the right or the left.)
- The biggest bugs have been fixed:
- the inability to keep more than 1-2 pages in memory in non-one column mode. An example screenshot of the History list showing this follows:
As can clearly be seen, ALL huge pages were still accessible, requiring no reloading. This is indeed HUGE advantage over beta1!
- The font problem has been fixed. The previous beta had too big fonts (even in the “Small” setting) with too much space between the individual rows. The new version is much better in this respect. An example screenshot showing this:
(a screenshot of the same in “Fit to screen” mode. The same on a VGA Pocket PC with Esmertec Jbed using the default Medium font HERE, extra large fonts HERE and Small fonts HERE.)
- There doesn’t seem to be other, new functionality: the menus are the same (screenshot); so is the Settings dialog. In this regard, the above-mentioned Russian hack is still better in some respects (but Opera Mini is indeed catching up and, in many respects, is already far better than the hacked version).
- Unfortunately, text using italic is still NOT rendered as italic. This has always been one of the BIGGEST problems with this browser. As has also been pointed out in my related posts (see for example THIS), ALL Windows Mobile-based Midlet managers support italic text – why don’t the Opera folks implement it, then?
Just point any
of your WAP-capable or WAP-enabled (Opera Mobile
are already like this; NetFront
must be manually configured to accept WAP pages) Windows Mobile Web browser to http://mini.opera.com/beta/
and click the "Download high memory version
" link at the bottom (an IEM screenshot
). The installation will automatically start; just make sure you answer Yes / Continue to all questions. After that, just launch the newly-deployed midlet and follow the instructions on the screen.
With the current (20070622.2.1
) version of Esmertec Jbed
(and, therefore, the standard Esmertec JVM coming with most current WM6 devices) I’ve only once encountered a crash: upon having some 10-15 (large) pages open in full page view mode, pressing Save after setting the font size to “Extra large” resulted in Jbed’s getting frozen. This happened to me under TAO Intent too (with one or two pages open); then, just canceling the save operation worked. Then, after re-entering Settings and saving the new configuration again, it already worked flawlessly.
That is, if you encounter hangups after you change the character size, make sure you try to cancel (right softkey) the operation to see whether it helps.
With Tao Intent 188.8.131.524
(available for download HERE
), 184.108.40.2069 (coming with several XDA-Dev cooked ROM’s; I’ve tested it on a Wizard cooked ROM) and 220.127.116.113 (available for download HERE
), I haven’t encountered any crashes so far. That is, (knocking on wood
) it seems the Tao Intent crashes have also been eliminated.
The Midlet Managers used in the article – how come some of the screenshots are full screen, you may ask
The QVGA Smartphone screenshots have all been made with the Esmertec Jbed midlet manager; hence the full screen mode on all them.
Don’t mistake the Esmertec Jbed midlet manager for the “plain” Esmertec midlet manager (as of version 20070115.1.1
– the one that comes with the original ROM of the HTC Vox / s710). The latter doesn’t offer full screen capabilities as can be seen in the following screenshot:
(the same screenshot – already shown above – taken with JBed
– note that I haven’t used the built-in “full screen” mode of Opera Mini accessible via ** to hide the red bars at the top and bottom). Another reason to install Jbed on top of the Esmertec Midlet manager – in addition to some of its other advantages; for example, much better sound emulation (which can be very important in games). I’ll elaborate on all these questions in my forthcoming Midlet Manager Bible.
The VGA Pocket PC screenshots, on the other hand, have been made using the, in this regard, FAR less recommended TAO Intent midlet manager – hence the unused task- and command bars at the top and the bottom of the screen.
This browser is VERY good, particularly when you use it with a decent Midlet manager allowing for real full screen mode. Hope the authors introduce at least support for italic and the ability to, at least, going back to the original page from Favorites while downloading a new page in the background so that you can go on reading the page.
Much as there is still some room for improvement, the bugs of the old, beta1 version seem to be ALL eliminated and even if you didn’t suffer from them (because you used the IBM J9 or the Esmertec JVM and not the Tao Intent one), you’ll certainly welcome the character size and the history list / cache size improvements. If, on the other hand, you’re a Tao Intent user, you will LOVE the stability of the new Opera Mini. (Still, as has already been stated, you’re STRONGLY supposed to upgrade to Jbed – you can just install Jbed on top of your Intent Midlet manager, it’ll work just great.)
All in all, no matter whether you have a Pocket PC or a touch screen-less Smartphone, go get the new Opera Mini – you will LOVE it, I’m absolutely sure!