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VIDEOVIEW: Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta 1 for Windows Mobile Professional
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 17.07.08 - 10:01:10 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 23578x
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Opera Software today released the slightly delayed public Beta 1 of Opera Mobile 9.5 for Windows Mobile Professional smartphones and I had the chance to test the latest Beta in advance already. While Opera Mobile 9.5 was available as a ODM partner version already, as used by HTC and Samsung, today's release is the long awaited public release.
With Opera Mobile 9.5, Opera Software completely reinvented the web browser on mobile phones by providing a PC-like browsing experience on small screen devices which include features like pan and zoom, improved GUI and standard support as well as noticeable speed improvements over Opera's previous mobile browser.

In this videoview, Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta 1 is demoed on a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 since the Xperia X1 will not includes Opera Mobile 9.5 but Internet Explorer Mobile only. Therefore it's interesting to see how well Opera Mobile works on a WVGA screen device. Furthermore it's demoed on an unlocked HTC Shift UMPC which is another interesting use case for the Opera Mobile browser since it allows to browse the web without starting Windows Vista:

After Opera Mobile started, it opens to Opera's startup page which, nevertheless, can be changed. From here you can choose to read more about Opera, get access to several selected bookmarks or search the web with Google.

Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta 1 features:

  • Pan and Zoom: Using the same technology found in Opera Mini, Opera Mobile 9.5 defaults to full web page viewing and allows users to pan and zoom into their desired content in just a few clicks.
  • Save Pages and/or Images: With a click, simply save your selected content and send via E-Mail, SMS or MMS to friends.
  • Improved User interface: Opera has completely renovated its mobile UI. Cleaner and more intuitive, the new UI is designed for quick and easy navigation.
  • Improved Standards Support: Opera remains steadfast in its commitment to make the web accessible for all. Opera Mobile 9.5 is the most standards-compliant mobile browser available. It is based on Opera's latest core rendering engine, Presto 2.1.
  • Faster: Opera has always been among the fastest browsers available and Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta continues this fine tradition with noticeable speed improvements over Opera Mobile 8.65 and Internet Explorer Mobile.
  • IEM Bookmark Integration: In the past, Opera Mobile always used its own Bookmarks file system. While this continues with Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta, Opera Mobile now also uses Internet Explorer Mobile Favorites which is handy since Internet Explorer Mobile Favorites can be synchronized with the PC which means you have only  one source for Bookmarks/Favorites

However, as with all Betas, there are some bugs which aren't fixed yet but Opera Software is already aware of:

  • ActiveX is Disabled: Flash plugins and embedded video streaming do not work.
  • Custom IME's: Like HTC's IME will be buggy at best, not working at worst.
  • Not Multilingual Build: Only English is supported. Problems with other languages (and input methods) are not unexpected.
  • Installation on Memory Cards: May cause problems.
  • Text Wraps: In overview and zoom mode.

Last but not least, Opera Software already confirmed its plans for future Betas which will include:

  • Opera Widgets
  • Opera Link
  • (Google) Gears
  • Symbian OS support
  • Windows Mobile Standard support

Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta can be downloaded now, free of charge from Opera Software. However, as mentioned above, at the moment it's only available for touchscreen Windows Mobile Professional (and Classic) smartphones. a Symbian UIQ and Windows Mobile Standard version is expected to be released later.

Again, today's release is a Beta release and as such, there will be (other) bugs and therefore this release is intended for developers and advanced users. It may cause data loss or other unintended actions.

Cheers ~ Arne


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