Just as there are multiple options for web browsers on laptops and desktop computers, the same can be said about browsers on smartphones and tablets. The Opera Browser for mobile devices comes in a few different forms and there are versions available for Google Android devices, iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, and smartphones powered by the Windows Phone operating system.
Key Opera Features and Functions
At its core, the Opera browser for mobile devices is similar to Chrome on Android devices or Safari on iOS devices in that it allows users to access the Internet and browse a variety of web pages. Some of its more unique features include:
- Speed Dial: The home screen of your web browser can be pre-populated with your favorite websites, offering faster access to the content you desire.
- Smart Page: Instant updates from all your favorite social and news sites are gathered together on a single screen for fast browsing.
- Bookmark Sharing: In addition to sharing a single link with friends, it is possible to share entire bookmark folders over the web.
Opera also comes with some of the most important core features that users come to expect from mobile browsers, even if these features are not unique to Opera.
- Tabs: Just like browsers on computers, the mobile version of Opera supports tabs for multitasking between webpages.
- Save Pages: Providing a functionality similar to Pocket and Instapaper, the Opera browser for mobile devices lets you save pages for reading later, even offline.
Why Use Opera Over Other Browsers?
Using the default web browser on a smartphone or tablet may be the most convenient choice. However, Opera can provide a number of additional benefits. One of these key advantages is the fact that Opera offers multiple versions of its mobile browser to address different user needs and preferences.
The simplest and most straightforward of the mobile Opera browsers, Opera Mini is ideal for users with less powerful mobile phones, but would still like to have a robust web surfing experience.
- Lightweight design requires fewer resources and offers faster performance
- Integrated data compression reduces wireless data consumption by up to 90%
- Very wide range of device compatibility
- Download manager allows users to start, stop and resume downloads at will
The fuller featured Opera browser goes beyond Opera Mini as more of a direct replacement for default browsers like Chrome on Google Android smartphones. Some key features separate it from other alternatives.
- Quick access to web search by either swiping up from the bottom of edge of any app or long-press the home button
- Off-Road mode helps to optimize slow or congested networks for the best possible browsing experience
- Private-browsing mode helps users stay anonymous on the web with less tracking
- Discover feature reveals recommendations for news, entertainment and other content
Available exclusively for iOS devices, Opera Coast aims to provide the "smoothest way to browse on iPhone." It offers a more gesture-oriented browsing experience that is a direct departure from the more traditional navigation style of other mobile browsers.
- Simple touch and swipe gestures, rather than traditional buttons, provide an app-like experience
- Opera Turbo technology allows for "fast and painless" browsing, even on slower networks
- Visual search results rather than a large body of text
- Custom wallpapers for personalization
Where to Download
The suite of Opera browsers for mobile devices are all available as free downloads through the corresponding app stores for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices.
For iPhone and iPad (iOS)
iPhone and iPad users can download Opera from the iTunes App Store.
- Opera Coast for iOS: For an app-like web browsing experience
- Opera Mini for iOS: For a lightweight, faster-loading web browser
For Google Android Devices
Android users can turn to the Google Play Store to download Opera.
- Opera Browser: A full featured web browser with private browsing option
- Opera Mini: A data-saving mini web browser application
For Windows Phone
Devices running on Windows Phone can download Opera from the Windows Phone Store.
- Opera Mini: Dubbed one of the fastest browsers for Windows Phone
An Alternative for Mobile Browsing
In addition to the variety of apps that are available for mobile devices these days, it is also important for consumers to choose the best possible mobile web browser to suit their particular preferences and needs. Opera is a solid option to consider, particularly for its data compression and fast loading features. Additionally, the fact that it is completely free to download is a tremendous incentive to give Opera a try.