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Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta Available

The latest version aimed at Windows Mobile touchscreen phones offers a redesigned user interface, integrated debugging tool, and improved standards support.

Marin Perez

July 17, 2008

1 Min Read

Opera Software launched the first public version of its latest mobile browser Thursday for touch-screen devices running Windows Mobile.

Opera Mobile 9.5 beta is a robust browser that's built on Web standards, and the company said it is seeking to bring a desktop browsing experience to mobile phones.

Similar to the iPhone's Safari browser, the latest Opera Mobile defaults to full Web page viewing. Users can then pan, scan, and zoom to their desired content.

The interface has been redesigned to reduce clutter, and it features an icon-based navigation bar. The new version also has in-text search, an address bar with auto-complete features, and the ability to save images or Web pages with one click.

The 9.5 version has been optimized to deliver a faster browsing experience than previous versions, and the company said it is 1.5 to 2 times faster than Microsoft's Internet Explorer Mobile.

Opera has also included the company's DragonFly debugging tool to enable easier development for the mobile platform. This allows developers to debug JavaScript, inspect Cascading Style Sheets and the Document Object Model, and view any errors from their phones.

Because it's still a beta, there are a few known issues with this mobile browser. For example, Flash plug-ins for embedded video streaming don't work yet, but the company said it will be fixed in future versions. Additionally, installing the application from a memory card may cause problems.

As more and more consumers surf the Web from their cell phones, the mobile browsing market is becoming increasingly crowded. Besides the on-deck browsers from Apple and Microsoft, companies like Mozilla and startup Skyfire will soon be offering their own mobile browsing competitors.

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