The wide availability of WAP-enabled mobile phones and affordable GPRS service is allowing users to avail completely of its productive features - truly the Internet at your fingertips! But the sad part about most phones is the low profile integrated web browser. Things are easier for smartphone users as they can choose from a wide range of browsers available for use over the integrated ones, but in lower end non-smartphones, there is neither variety nor any option as such. To address this issue, Opera has come up with a brilliant solution with their launch of mobile browser "Opera Mini", a lower end phone version of their popular Opera for Series 60 smartphones.
Say Hello to Mini Me
Opera Mini runs on any Java-enabled non-smartphone, like the several Series 40 phones that Nokia sells cheap, and gives access to a better looking web than the default WAP browsers on those phones. The handset only needs to run a small (50-100 KB) Java client to access the web, which is like a VNC or Terminal Services client of sorts. Opera Mini uses a remote proxy server to pre-process the web page instead of requiring the phone to process them. When a user requests for a webpage, it is fetched by the Opera Mini server and reformatted with Small Screen Rendering technology, compressing it further by about 70-80%, and is finally sent to the handset as output. This feature optimizes the browsing for phones with very low resources, or low bandwidth connections, as well as low screen real-estate.
With Opera Mini, browsing of full blown web sites (not just the cut down WAP versions for mobiles) is possible. Even then, there's no horizontal scrolling required as the browser reformats all content to fit in one column. Entering any web address in a text entry dialog for lookup follows the similar input methods. Opera Mini also offers some performance and visual settings like disabling images, smoothing fonts etc.