Opera Mini 4.2 beta mini-review

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Tom Keating
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Opera Mini 4.2 beta mini-review

opera-mini-skins.jpgOpera Mini 4.2 beta just launched today. Opera Mini is one of my favorite mobile phone Internet browsers. It's a tough call between Opera Mini and Skyfire. Skyfire supports Flash and video, so it's better at multimedia, however, I find Opera Mini better suited to regular web pages with just graphics and text. Opera Mini is much faster at loading web pages and scrolling than Skyfire. Still, I use both on my Windows Mobile.

That said, today Opera Mini is trying to add video streaming support. Ironically, yesterday I was trying to figure out how to copy/paste my Orb TV streaming links from Opera Mini 4.1 to Pocket IE so I could stream live TV. I prefer browsing via Opera Mini, but I have to use Pocket IE to stream video/audio. I could use the popular MortScript to add copy/paste functionality, but unfortunately, it only allows pasting into Opera Mini and not from Opera Mini. In any event, in 4.2 when you are browsing video content, such as Youtube, Opera Mini will launch your regular Windows mobile browser (Pocket IE) with a prompt that says "Open URL? Yes / No" with a link similar to this - http://server4.operamini.com/hr02-14/5oxerx.../2/196. I figured out that this is like Opera Mini's version of tinyURL to point directly to the Youtube video. If you click 'Yes', it then launches Pocket Internet Explorer with a single URL on the web page "Start Stream". When I clicked this link it then said "Running a system command on this item might be unsafe. Do you wish to continue? Yes / No" with no option to save my preference for the future. (Pocket IE's fault not Opera Mini).  My default media player launched and then I got "An unknown error 0X8007274D has occurred." I looked at the URL it was trying to open and it looked similar to this:
rtsp://prug.rtsp-youtube.I.google.com/CkcLENy73wIaPgn43DiE8... (bunch more letters and numbers)

I'm guessing Windows Media Player couldn't handle the long string. It probably has a character limit.

Even if it did work, it's a bit of kludge, though I'm glad they're finally working on video support. I toggle to Skyfire when I need video. Opera said, "We are working to make video content available on more phones through Opera Mini. If you have a new Sony Ericsson or Nokia phone, the chance is high that you can take Opera Mini for a spin on m.youtube.com". So I guess Ericsson and Nokia users might have better luck than me.

Some other benefits of Opera Mini 4.2 over 4.1:
- Opera Mini 4.2 can use their newly established server park in the U.S. for faster performance.

- Sync your notes. The handy Notes functionality from the Opera Desktop Web browser just got more portable through Opera Link. All of your notes are available in Opera Mini directly from the Bookmarks menu.

- Personalize Opera Mini by choosing a new colorful skin. They reintroduced the popular skinning feature from Opera Mini 3.

Overall, I like the new version, especially the speed bump. No need for my Opera Mini browser to connect to Opera's servers in Norway and then back across the Atlantic. Still, I wish they allowed me to copy/paste links for cases when I need to use my alternate browser.

more info here.

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