By Stephen Schenck | October 11, 2011 4:44 PM
If you’re into alternative Android browsers, today is your lucky day. A little earlier, we heard about Bolt leaving private beta, and now Opera has updates to its pair of browsers ready, releasing Opera Mini 6.5 and Opera Mobile 11.5.
We discussed Bolt’s reliance on developer Bitstream’s servers to re-format content for the app, optimizing layouts, re-compressing video, and saving on the amount of data needed to be transferred to your phone. Opera’s been playing that same game for years with its Opera Mini browser, and today’s updates are focused largely on that same feature set.
Saying that this kind of server-side processing saves on your bandwidth needs is well and good, but how do you know if it’s making any difference? Today’s releases add real-time statistics to the browsers, keeping track of both your bandwidth consumption, and how much more you’d end up using without Opera’s assistance. If you’re on a low-cutoff data plan, that kind of analysis can help you avoid very costly overages.
But why would you need such data in Opera Mobile, when it’s Opera Mini that’s the one using the proxy? Opera Mobile includes support for Opera Turbo, which lets you temporary pull the same trick when you run into a site that’s really lagging. Switch on Turbo mode, and Opera’s servers retrieve the page and take over transferring it to your phone.
Besides the data use tools, these new releases include some minor general improvements that should speed things up here and there and cut down on memory usage. Both are available for download now.