Opera has steadily been gaining ground and market share in the mobile browsing arena for some time now. To continue the path and keep building on their success they’ve just released 9.7 Beta for Windows Mobile devices. Some issues with the Beta have already been noted:
- Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile is still a preview-feature;
– Downloads don’t work while Opera Turbo is enabled.
– Some settings (such as toggle on/off images) do not apply when Opera Turbo is enabled.
- On older WM 5.0 Devices with 480×800 resolution, switching between portrait and landscape may cause display errors. This is due to lack of support for this resolution in early versions of Microsoft’s driver.
- Some input method editors are known not to work well with Opera because they do not comply with Microsoft’s SIP and/or IME standard. When such an editor is detected by Opera, Opera will use a known (default) input method instead. An exception is EzInput v1.5, where the phone keypad and compact QUERTY, ABC mode doesn’t work, but the rest of the modes work fine. We recommend upgrading to EzInput v2.0 to avoid this.
- Only support for FlashLite 3.x. No Flash plugin included.
With that said, 9.7 still looks like a highly recommended download for anyone running a Win-Mo device. You may have noticed in the points above that this build is the first to set ‘Opera Turbo’ technology into action… which, in a nutshell should speed up your browsing experience. The technology sends pages to Opera’s servers where they are compressed and sent back to your device at a fraction of the original size. Cool.
A widget manager add-on is also available with the Beta, and must be installed after you install Opera 9.7 (that is, if you want it to work!). Some known issues/points on the widget manager from Opera:
- The Widget manager is an add-on to the browser, so the browser must be installed in order for the widget manager to work.
- We recommend disabling Opera Turbo in the browser when using the widget manager.
- Rotating widgets does not work properly. Portrait mode should be used when running widgets.
- Widgets + Plugins (Flash & Gears) don’t work.
- Clicking internal links in a widget will launch the browser.
- Twitter widget might have login problems on first run. If this happens, just close the Twitter widget (X) and open it again.
Looks like a solid build, and although there are many known issues… that’s what the beta is for, right? You can check out all of the details and download for yourself over at Opera.