Opera Mini 7 for Android launched
Cape Town - Opera Software has released a new version of its Opera Mini browser for the Android platform.
The Opera Mini 7 browser for Android was released on Wednesday and it promises a faster browsing experience on smartphones.
"Today, Opera Software launched the Opera Mini 7 web browser in a final version for the Android platform," Opera said.
The browser dominates mobile devices because of its simplicity and small data footprint for users sensitive to cost.
Opera said that the browser is enhanced with unlimited Speed Dial buttons designed for touch screens that may be awkward for some users.
Google's Android platform is the clear leader in terms of mobile platforms, with various research firms giving it between 48% and a 51% market share, followed by iOS from Apple at around 19%.
The Opera Mini browser is particularly suited to developing markets where internet data costs restrain mass adoption of smartphones.
Samsung has shipped the most smartphones by the end of 2011, according to the International Data Corporation. The South Korean company's total of 94 million units gives it a fractional lead over its iPhone maker Apple at 93.2 million.
This translates into a 19.1% smartphone market share for Samsung, followed by Apple with 19%, Nokia with 15.7% and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion at 10.4%, according to the IDC.
Mobile webpage views jumped from 4.3% to 8.49% globally, but in Africa where there is a lack of cable infrastructure, mobile views of the web leapt from 6.33% in January 2011 to 19.17% a year later.
Opera recently launched Next that gives additional capabilities to feature phones to access social networking sites.
Android smartphones have a data-hungry reputation, particularly as the use of apps becomes more commonplace. The web, though, remains critical to the functionality of the devices.
A Pew Research Centre's Internet & American Life Project study recently found that apps threatened the growth of the internet because of the "walled gardens" they create.
"The web is about discovery and serendipity, it's about finding something you weren't looking for... To lose that would be to take a step back in our progress as intellectual humans, the equivalent of burning a digital book," said venture capitalist Richard Titus in the survey.
Opera Mini is available free from the Opera website.
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