Opera releases beta of Mini 4

Users keen to get their hands on the latest version of Opera's mobile browser can now do so as the company has released a beta version for free download.

Codenamed Dimension, the Opera Mini 4 beta aims to gives people the same user experience in terms of web browsing that they are used to when using a PC.

The browser comes with a host of new features including new zoom capability - which is based on the Opera functionality used in Nintendo's latest creation the Wii - to enable direct access to content. The feature suggests a suitable place to start reading a page and then, once it's time to dive in, will zoom in and enlarge text to focus on what the user wants to see. A virtual mouse and power scrolling using designated numbers on the keypad also help to enhance the user experience.

Speed is also of the essence with the new offering - building on the fast capabilities inherent in other Opera browsers - with its creator claiming that it is more than twice as fast as any other mobile browser on the market. According to Opera, this also helps to reduce mobile data costs for users.

"We are excited to share the beta with the fast-growing community of Opera Mini users," said Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's chief executive.

"The feedback from the beta users will go to make Opera Mini even better and we thank the community for their efforts. Opera Mini has succeeded only due to the support of the people who have made it the most popular mobile browser available today."

Users have evidently voted with their feet in support of what Opera has to offer. Since Opera Mini became available worldwide last year, more than 15 million people have searched for and consumed over five billion web pages.

"Opera Mini has always been my favorite mobile application," said Phil Burns, an Opera Mini user.

"Of all the applications I have on my mobile Opera Mini is the only one I use every day. The fact that you can get the real web - not WAP - on your regular phone makes it the best way to bring mobile browsing to the masses. I can't wait to try the beta and discover the new features."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.