By Mikael Ricknäs, MacworldMAR 11, 2010 4:05 am PST
Opera has released a beta version of its Mini 5 Web browser for Android-based smartphones, the company said on Thursday.
Just like the versions of the beta for other phones, Opera Mini 5 for Android beta compresses data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the phone to speed up browsing over low-bandwidth data connections, according to the Norwegian browser company.
Other features of the beta version include tabbed browsing and speed dial, a feature that provides direct access to favorites via thumbnail images on the start page. There is also a password manager that can be used to store passwords for e-mail, social networking sites and online banking, Opera said.
The beta can be downloaded from Android Market or by going to m.opera.com/next with an Android-based smartphone.
The Opera Mini user interface has been designed for mobile phones with traditional keypads and smartphones with touchscreens. However, it lacks support for multitouch, the company said via e-mail.
The company isn’t ready to confirm a launch date for the final version of Opera Mobile 5, according to Katrin Jaakson, communications manager at Opera.
The beta version of Opera Mini 5 was originally launched in September last year, and is already available on BlackBerry phones, phones running Windows Mobile 5 or 6, and phones that can run Java apps. Opera also
demonstrated a version of the browser for the iPhone at Mobile World Congress in February. Contacted by Macworld.com on Thursday, an Opera spokesperson said that the company has not yet submitted Opera Mini to Apple for App Store approval, “but it will happen in the near future.”