New Opera Mini for mobile phones

Browsing web pages on your mobile phone usually is a painful experience.

Most web sites, including blogs, just aren’t designed for displaying on the small screen of a mobile device.

While there’s little you can do about that, there is something you can do about the browser you use that will make your mobile browsing experience far more enjoyable.

That browser is Opera Mini, specifically the new version 3 announced this week.

I’ve installed it on my new Nokia N73 and there’s no doubt at all that this browser offers a far better usability experience than the phone’s built-in browser.

Two really cool features of this new Opera Mini – RSS feeds and moblogging. The latter feature looks especially interesting as you can take a photo and post it directly from the browser.

I like TechCrunch UK’s take on this feature:

[...] Other downloadable applications have enabled photo upload and mobile blogging, but in integrating this function into the browser, Opera has turned Mini into a read/write application. The browser, traditionally the tool used to consume information, becomes a sophisticated content creation mechanism as well. Users who otherwise might not go through the trouble to download and install a photo blogging application will suddenly find they have this capability.

One benchmark test for me of a mobile browser is how well it treats blogs.

operaminiscreenThe first I test is my own blog as I do have it enabled for display on a mobile device thanks to Alex King’s excellent WordPress Mobile Edition plugin that I’ve been using for some time.

Alex released a new version last month, which is even better than the previous version.

It doesn’t require a separate URL for mobile devices – it now automatically detects a mobile browser and renders your site on a mobile device screen from the same URL. It also displays the static pages in your WordPress blog, not just posts.

The screenshot shows my blog yesterday in Opera Mini. Very quick site loading and very quick page navigation.

I’m definitely going to use Opera Mini from now on. I just need to figure out how to make it the default browser on my phone.

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.