Anyone who knows me knows I’m a browser nut. I struggled for years to choose browsers on the desktop and even though I’ve found the right one for me (Chrome) I still can’t resist checking the competition every once in a while. Unfortunately, my addiction has gone mobile.
That’s why I was excited to learn that Opera would be launching versions 11 and 6 of their Mobile and Mini Android offerings respectively. Starting with Mini, they’ve finally added true multi-level pinch-to-zoom. Before, performing a pinch-to-zoom gesture would net the desired result, but it wasn’t smooth and you could only zoom in and out once to pre-determined levels.
Now, you can get as close or as far away as you need to as you can in countless other browsers. Opera Mini has quickly become a great option for those on older phones or for people who need to do a bit of browsing on a slow network. Due to the nature of the application, there is no flash support and there probably never will be.
That’s where Opera Mobile 11 comes in. It’s the browser for those who have decent/better than decent phones who can take advantage of a fast 3G or 4G network. The one complaint many had, though, was its lack of Flash support when Adobe debuted the Flash 10.1 player for Mobile.
This week’s update adds just that, thankfully. They’ve also apparently flipped the switch on hardware acceleration in this version, but we honestly couldn’t tell. (Unless that contributed to the lack of checker-boarding that used to plague the app.) Things still didn’t look as smooth as they do on iOS devices, but it was still a VERY usable and desirable browsing experience. The only thing I’d like to see now is improvement in the browser vendor’s rendering engine, but that’s still a bit of a problem on desktops. It’s getting there, though.
Finally, they’ve introduced the Honeycomb-specific version of their browser. There isn’t much to the update: it puts the status bar on top and shuffles a couple of the UI elements around. Other than that, it’s a good looking browser that does some good looking browsing. Check out video of the mobile versions above and the tablet version below.