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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Opera Mini 5 beta test: some things got better, some things did not

Opera Mini 5 beta test version, mobile Java web browser, Symbian phones
Proxy-based data compressing mobile phone web browser Opera Mini received a major overhaul.

The start page now shows nine bookmarks ("speed dials") as big squares with page previews. "My Opera," "BBC News," and "Wikipedia" came out of the box and I couldn't find a way to delete or edit them, which leaves only 6 bookmarks on the start screen to play with.

When you select "menu" you don't get the normal menu that every other mobile phone program displays, but a horizontal menu bar with a shortcut to the home screen, back/forward/reload buttons, an exit key, and a dropdown menu to go to your bookmarks, settings, etc. This may work on a computer screen with a mouse, but it gets annoying real quick on phones with a classic keypad.

Opera Mini 5 comes with tabbed browsing, but changing tabs requires a trip to the menu, because in normal page view the cursor gets stuck just below the tab bar.

There's no T9 predictive text in Opera Mini 5. Copy/paste works, but to make it work in the URL entry and search box you have to dig deep down into the settings menu and switch "inline editing" off.

Google comes as the default search engine. I couldn't find a way to change it, but maybe custom search engines come in a later version? Opera Mini 5 has a password manager, and if you click into the settings screen you'll find a submenu called "privacy" to delete passwords, cookies, and other information that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands.

You can select and copy text from web pages in Opera Mini and feed it into a Google or Wikipedia search. You can't paste copied text into other appications (Notes, text editors, etc.) directly, but there's a workaround for that: if you paste the text into an Opera Mini Google or Wikipedia search box and copy it again (this time from the search box), you can paste it into other programs.

Opera Mini 5 crashed occasionally on my phones, but maybe the program gets more stable as testing continues. Bookmark synchronisation and file download should be added later as well.

The beta test version of Opera Mini 5 installs separately from the old version, so you can test the beta edition without overwriting your old version of Opera Mini. That's a good thing, because version 5 is not ready to replace Opera Mini 4 yet.

• Opera Mini 5 beta test version
the old Opera Mini


cheekychimp said...

To edit or clear a bookmark:
- press '1' key on a bookmark

To change to T9 predictive text:
- check or uncheck the inline editing option from the Settings menu

Dan said...

On a touch screen like my 5800, however, it's awesome. It has occasional hiccups, but the tabbed browsing works well enough that I can quickly flip between tabs, the menu is simple when you can just quickly jab the option you want.
The only thing I cannot STAND is the custom on-screen keyboard: it's slow and clunky and barely responds.

rss said...

You wrote, you don't know how to delete the three default "speed dial" icon. If you're on one, press the [1] button, then you get a local menu with two options: "Clear" and "Edit". If you press "Clear", the one will be deleted.

Pedro said...

You can edit/delete bookmarks from the start page by clicking and holding the select button for a couple seconds until a menu pops up. Found this out the after trying 5beta out for a few days. I hope they bring back the download manager, I really need that feature. I also found the work around for copy/pasting from web pages by accident. It comes in handy when i want to copy notes and urls from links. Overall, 4.2 is still my browser for now.

GenC said...

I had the same problem editing the speed dial bookmark and I found the solution : you must press the midlle button of your phone for a while, then you will have a little popup with the two options ('edit' and 'clear').
I hope it will help ;-)

shrik said...

Tab management (except for moving them around) can be done easily with keypad shortcuts - *up for new tab, *down to close current tab, *left and *right to switch tabs.

What really gets me is that there is no way (that I could figure out, at least) to open a link in a new tab.

Mini Beta 5 is wicked fast on my Nokia N82, but I really wish Opera would get their act together with a decent Mobile for S60v3 :-(

I did notice an issue where scroll-bars in iframes don't show up, but so far this hasn't been a dealbreaker..

KPbICMAH said...

"My Opera," "BBC News," and "Wikipedia" came out of the box and I couldn't find a way to delete or edit them, which leaves only 6 bookmarks on the start screen to play with.
It's hard to find, but easy to do - just navigate to the necessary bookmark, press and hold "Ok" button. A menu will pop up, with two commands - "edit" and "clear".