Opera Mobile Gets Symbian UIQ, Widget Support

Opera's rolling out the second beta version of its mobile browser and launching a $10,000 widget development competition.
Opera Software has released the second beta of its mobile browser, and it adds support for widgets, as well as Symbian UIQ handsets.

The second beta for Opera Mobile 9.5 ensures that users can get one-click access to online content like weather and stocks with the inclusion of Opera Widgets. Several widgets will be built in with the beta, and more can be downloaded from Opera's Web site.

Opera also hopes to attract developers to create their own widgets, and the company updated its Opera Widget software development kit to make developing widgets easier. The upgraded SDK includes the Opera Dragonfly debugging tool, as well as a widget manager that enables on-device testing.

Opera also is launching the "X Widget Challenge," which is offering $10,000 in cash prizes for the best cross-device widgets. Rules, regulations, and other prize details can be found on the Opera Widgets blog.

"Opera has kept developer needs at the heart of this beta release," Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "All great developers need great tools to work with. Opera is an industry leader in making the Web a developer-friendly place by constantly innovating within the confines of Web standards. We will continue to create with developers in mind, as we intend to continue to grow our developer toolkit with each consecutive release."

The new Opera Mobile is the first-ever beta for Symbian UIQ smartphones. UIQ is essentially a graphical user interface that's layered on top of the Symbian operating system, and it's mainly used on some smartphones from Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

Handsets that use Symbian UIQ include the Motorola Rizr Z8 and the Sony Ericsson P990i.

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