Opera Software ASA has unveiled Opera Mini 8.0, a major new version of its speed-optimised browser for iPhone and iPad. The browser, which uses compression technologies to speed up data transfer and browsing, gets a major overhaul with this new release, the first for over two years.
It’s also joined by a new version of Opera Developer 24.0 for Windows and Mac, which adds a new Tab Preview feature.
Opera Mini’s main selling point is that it’s designed to speed up browsing on slow connections through various server-side compression technologies that help reduce the amount of data being sent over the network.
From version 8, Opera Mini offers a choice of compression modes: the existing Opera Mini mode promises up to 90 per cent data savings, while Opera Turbo mode promises a full web experience while still managing to squeeze data up to 50 per cent.
The app also benefits from a major overhauls of its user interface to fit more closely to the new Opera desktop browser. The browser now supports Themes – which let users change the browser’s look and feel via the Settings menu (13 are available in this release).
The new browser also introduces a new Discover feature for finding new content, plus introduces a built-in QR Code reader, which is accessible from Opera’s pop-up keyboard.
Opera has also unveiled Opera Developer 24.0 for Windows and Mac, a major update to the alpha pre-release channel of its desktop browser. Version 24’s headline new feature is Tab Preview, which lets users roll their mouse over a tab to instantly see a preview of that web page.
Version 24 also adds support for high DPI displays, with updated visuals enabled by default for those lucky enough to own such displays. However, echoing the build’s pre-release status, users should be warned that some Adobe Flash windows may freeze with HiDPI enabled, while printing is broken on the Windows version.
Opera Mini 8.0 is available now as a free download for iPads and iPhones running iOS 7 or later. Opera Developer 24.0 is also available for Windows and Mac users, and will install alongside any existing builds of Opera FINAL.