Today, Opera Software announced the update and release of their Opera Mini 5 browser (5.0.3521) for Windows Mobile. Previous versions required the Java Virtual Machine to run on Windows Mobile, but now it’s a native app and can be installed with a simple CAB. Although XDA hacked together a CAB that packaged Java and OM5 together in the past, this version obviously has greater advantages.
Press release excerpt:
By integrating Opera Mini with the Windows Mobile platform, Opera is able to deliver an optimized version of the popular Opera Mini browser that dramatically improves performance and the overall user experience. While Opera Mini traditionally requires Java, the new Windows Mobile version does not, which means that Opera Mini will work on any Windows Mobile phone.
I’ve tried it and it’s true, performance has been improved. On previous Java versions, clicking on links would often require several attempts as it would either reset the page or force me to an undesired URL. The bugs rendered it useless for me, but now it seems to be much better. Another plus is that we get to use our preferred software keyboard instead of the generic, fixed keyboard which was forced upon us in previous versions. Mini 5 is still fast and with the boost in performance, this may become my full time browser until Opera Mobile 10 comes out of beta. We finally get a polished shortcut icon too. Bravo, Opera, bravo.
The native version is available as a CAB for Windows Mobile 5 and 6.x devices. Download it by visiting the Opera Mini page or point your device to m.opera.com/next using your mobile web browser. Let us know in the comments if you notice a difference too.