The iPhone's Mobile Safari browser may have caused a sensation when it was launched, but one year on and Opera's free offering now looks set to surpass it.
Opera Mini 4.1 beta launches this week with a number of major improvements that belie its incremental version change. Key most among these is a huge performance jump with Opera now claiming the browser loads fully formatted desktop-style web pages up to 50 per cent faster than v4.0. A stunning boost considered 4.0 was already quick on both GPRS and 3G.
Features take a major step forward too with the ability to now download and upload files meaning the otherwise awful Internet Explorer Mobile loses its one big advantage. On top of this Mini 4.1 will automatically suggest URL completions to save input time, save pages for offline browsing and provides a 'Find' function to quickly locate text on a page. Opera has also posted a guided video tour for your perusal.
"There's a reason Opera Mini has made such an impact around the world - our community," said Jon von Tetzchner, Opera CEO. "Your input and feedback have pushed us to make Opera Mini better with each version. I hope everyone enjoys these new features, but we ask for your candor and feedback as we get ready to make Opera Mini even more relevant to the millions of people who use us and the millions of people who discover Opera Mini every month."
A beta of 4.1 is available now from the link below with a final version expected soon. Yep, Windows 6.1 may have only just touched down while the iPhone's 1.1.4 firmware is little more than one month old, but Microsoft/Apple - it's time to get moving again...