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.

operaminiscreen
The 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.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Tom Keefe

    Neville,
    Thank you so much for this tip. As you said, a phone browser can be a painful experience–it certainly has been for me until now. Thanks to OperaMini, I’m actually excited about using my phone for web browsing. My RAZR with Cingular service had been such a pain to use for browsing. I would press a link and wait…and wait…and then finally get a message that the site could not be displayed. Much better now!

    One question: I’ve been unable to view Shel’s blog at work for some time, and I thought my IT department had blocked it for some unknown reason. I tried entering http://blogs.holtz.com into the Opera Mini browser, and got a message that the site is “nontranslated.” Do I have an old address for Shel’s blog, or is it something else?

    Again, great tip, and thank you.

  2. Karl Long

    Totally agree about the wordpress mobile plugin, it’s brilliant and so simple. Funnily enough I just took a screen shot of my own blog and was going to post about it :-) Great minds think alike!

  3. neville

    Glad you found it helpful, Tom.

    Re Shel’s blog (and website), it is still down as Martyn says. He’s had big server problems all week and his being on the road during the time hasn’t helped. Now that he’s back at home base, I’m sure getting fully online again is a big priority. If you want to email him in the meantime, use his Gmail address. Or, email him at the FIR comments email address.

    I took a look at your blog, Karl, in Opera Mini. Looks good!

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