By Daniel Webster | June 8, 2009 12:00 AM
For years Opera Mobile has been the leader in full HTML mobile web browsing. But as time went on, Opera face some still competition from the likes of Skyfire and even Microsoft with the new version of Internet Explorer mobile.
pocketnow.com has been given an early opportunity to test out the Opera Mobile 9.7 Beta browser with the new Opera Turbo. The Turbo adds server-side rendering (much like Skyfire and Opera Mini) to dramatically decrease page load times. In this video we compare the new 9.7 to other browsers like Pocket Internet Explorer and Skyfire version 1.0.
The Opera Mobile 9.7 Beta will include the following great features:
Improved rendering engine
Opera Mobile 9.7 Beta uses the Presto 2.2 rendering engine, which will also be used in the Opera 10 desktop browser. Presto 2.2 offers faster page loading, and we’re excited to use this state-of-the-art rendering engine and be at the forefront of standards support with 100/100 on Acid 3.
Finally we can show you Opera Turbo on mobile! Opera Turbo accelerates the browsing experience by reducing bandwidth consumption up to 80%. Many of you will be familiar with Opera’s compression technology from using Opera Mini, and with Opera Mobile 9.7 you’ll get the best of both worlds – a full-fledged browser with extra Turbo capabilities. It’s not the full version of Opera Turbo yet (yes, that’s a Beta feature in a Beta release), but we couldn’t wait to show you this cool feature.
Improved Widget Manager
Opera Widgets are small, handy Web applications that run locally on your mobile phone. Our new Widget Manager has improved usability and design, and runs independently from the browser.
Gears is a Google open source project that enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser. Read more about Gears on Opera Labs.
Hardware acceleration with OpenGL ES support, ensuring smoother scrolling, panning and a more fluid user interface.
Also, we’ve tried to iron out some of the major issues with the 9.51 Beta, among other things:
Installation on storage card is now possible, and the Beta happily coexists with preinstalled versions of Opera Mobile.
Better IME support (although a lot of non-standard 3rd party IME applications still make this a difficult task).
Better performance and feedback when clicking links.
Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is free and will run on virtually all Windows Mobile 5 and greater devices with a touch screen.