Yesterday we reported that Opera Mobile 10 would be coming to Android, but would only be available to OEMs. We reached out to Opera to see if we could obtain a review copy and asked if there would be a public beta (like we have seen for Symbian and Windows Mobile).
Here is the official statement we received from Opera:
“Android is an open platform for JAVA (Dalvik) applications. Native applications, like Opera Mobile 10, can use only features published as part of the NDK that is currently made for a narrow class of applications, mainly applications that are made in Java but uses some native code to do CPU intensive tasks. Opera Mobile is an application implemented fully in native code, and currently dependent on direct access to standard Linux libraries (not available from the NDK).”
This means we are unlikely to receive a public beta, but Opera said they are always evaluating new platforms to release its products on. I think this also explains why we have only seen Opera Mobile 10 running on the HTC Hero. It looks like the current Opera code is only able to work when the handset maker (HTC) implements it into their firmware and it cannot be installed with a simple .apk file.
Instead, Android users will be treated to the new Opera Mini 5 (their lightweight client-server browser) which should be appearing in the Android Market soon. Opera Mini is designed for feature phones and is the most popular browser in the world with 30 million users. The new Opera Mini 5 has received a makeover and now closely resembles Opera Mobile 10.
Top new features of Opera Mini 5 include:
- Tabbed browsing – Browse several Web sites at the same time, while easily jumping from one to another.
- Speed Dial – Get to your favorite Web page with just one click, with a set of visual bookmarks when you open a new tab.
- Opera Link – Synchronize your bookmarks and Speed Dial between your mobile phone and desktop computer.
- Download manager – Manage downloads right from the browser. Pause and resume downloads to suit your needs.