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WebKit-based Opera beta released for Android

Posted: , by Michael H.

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WebKit-based Opera beta released for Android
Opera made a bit of news recently when it announced that it would be ditching the company's proprietary Presto rendering engine in favor of the much more popular WebKit engine that is the base for Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome browser. Now, we finally get to try it out with the new WebKit-based Opera beta for Android.

The new beta version isn't only packing the WebKit engine, but a complete redesign of the browser's UI for Android. The Speed Dial page has been redesigned with new page icons and folders. There is a new Discovery page to go along with Speed Dial that can help you find new content on the web, and you can customize what type of content shows up there. And, Opera has added Turbo, which allows data to go through Opera's proxy and be compressed for faster speeds. Although, it has been rebranded "Off-Road Mode"; a change seemingly for the sole purpose of being able to use the tag line "It keeps you connected and loads webpages faster when conditions get rough."

The browser performs quite well, and scored an impressive 450 on HTML5test.com, which is well higher than Google Chrome (417). It's definitely worth a look, especially if you're not too tied to the Chrome syncing features.

Opera beta is available for free in the Google Play Store

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posted on 05 Mar 2013, 01:43

1. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

Opera was the first browser I downloaded and used first on Android until Chrome, definitely going back to Opera now. I've never used Chrome's syncing features and don't intend to.

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 01:58

2. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

Feels faster than Chrome on Android

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 02:11 1

3. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Posting this with the Opera beta.. just checked the HTML 5 test before reading this article, got the very same score.

It's decently fast and fluid but still no browser comes close to Dolphin with Jetpack, which also scores over 490 on HTML5 test.

And they ruined the best feature they had - tab switch interface..sigh

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 02:34

4. sss_ddk (Posts: 74; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

Actually Tab switching seems to work fine.
So far, pros: excellent "speed dial" (wish firefox would use that instead of the Top sites useless page), fast
cons:no text reflow (or i can't find the option), lack of exit button (closing it in task switcher does not kill the process, unlike firefox.
Of course it's still a beta. But i'm sticking to firefox and using Opera only when on 2G speeds (off-road mode)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 02:52

5. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 1042; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Off-road mode is ridiculously fast, using it right now, but this being a Beta there are many areas that need work:
-Text reflow, I dont see the option for it
-Zoom and Font settings, not there
-Opera Link, i cant seem to sync my Opera Mobile bookmarks with Beta
-No exit button

Otherwise a move in the right direction by Opera

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 02:56

6. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

is this also act like the last opera mobile? what i mean is that can they still minimize the data rendering?

i wish they will bring this to symbian as well!!! symbian is opera's strongest market!

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 04:40

7. sss_ddk (Posts: 74; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

off-road mode=turbo mode= server-side compression.
yes it's there (optional in the menu)

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 09:04

8. joey41 (Posts: 45; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)

Just downloaded it seems great

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 12:34

9. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)

It feels smooth but no text reflow is a dealbreaker for me. Back to good Opera Mobile

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 16:08

10. roscuthiii (Posts: 2241; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Would that be the old Chrome, or the new Chrome?

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