Opera boasted about adding a new feature to the popular browser's Mini version for Android. Following the latest update, users should be seeing less of the annoying video-buffering wheel that has become the hallmark of a painfully slow data connection. This is all due to the unique “video boost” feature, which intelligently reduces the size of video data to shorten video loading times and reduce buffering delays. By shrinking the amount of information transmitted, the feature will also extend the life of your mobile data plan.
This will definitely come in handy, as according to a study by Conviva, viewers have very little patience for video interruptions. As many as 75% of them will abandon poor-quality, choppy video streams in four minutes or less, and 33% will do it within the first 30 seconds. Another study by Interactive Advertising Bureau research found that the speed of buffering is among the top-three most important factors for mobile video watchers.
Opera Mini is the first browser on Android to get a video compression feature.
The feature is activated from the Savings Summary sub-menu under the "O" menu in Opera Mini 1.5. Tick the box beside "Video Boost" to switch it on, and you will also get to keep track of how many videos have been optimized. In addition to video boost, the browser has received more speed, savings and efficiency tweaks. When in high-savings mode, Opera Mini automatically turns off data compression when it detects Wi-Fi so you can take full advantage of the speedier connection.
The browser also lets you resize images in the browser before uploading them to the web. This reduces the file size so you can save data and manage more uploads on poor networks. There's also the new 'thumbscroller' feature, which lets you scroll down to bring up a side scroll bar on the screen, making navigation on long articles and webpages easier.
Opera Mini 1.5 is a free download from Google Play (link). It is also available on iOS and many other mobile and desktop platforms, although features vary between different versions.