Opera has released a public beta of Opera Mini 5 for Windows Mobile. Up until now, you had two choices for running an Opera browser on a Windows Mobile phone or PDA: You could purchase Opera Mobile (or use a public beta) or use the Java-based version of Opera Mini. The new software runs natively, no Java required.

Opera Mini 5 beta 2 supports devices running Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Like the Java based version of Opera Mobile, the native app supports tabbed browsing, bookmarks, a password, manager, and Opera Speed Dial — a feature that lets you tap thumbnail icons with shortcuts to your most frequently visited web sites.

One of the things that makes Opera Mini different from most mobile web browsers is the fact that you don’t need a speedy processor in order to experience fast page load times. That’s because Opera uses server-side data compression. In other words, when you enter a URL, the information is sent to Opera, they process the page remotely and send you a compressed version that opens up on your mobile browser. It sounds like it would be slow, but it’s actually faster than trying to load some full web sites using a relatively slow phone.

You can download Opera Mini 5 beta 2 by visiting m.opera.com/next from your device, or by downloading the desktop installer from Opera.com.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...