Those crazy Norwegians at Opera Software are at it again, announcing that within a month they’re going to bring their browser to Android and it’s not only going to be fast and ultra compatible with web standards, but also comes with hardware acceleration and pinch to zoom. Hardware acceleration is a killer feature, normally only seen in devices such as the iPhone, and while I’m not sure if this is true or not, the browser in Android may be hardware accelerated as well. What does that mean? Instead of the CPU having to deal with downloading the bits that make up a website, the decoding the HTML into something you and I know as a website, then drawing said instructions on a screen, a mobile phone’s graphics chip will be doing all the rendering. This lets the CPU work faster and it also provides a more fluid experience.
Anyone who has even used the browser on an iPhone 4 knows exactly what I’m talking about. The other feature coming to Opera Mobile for Android is pinch to zoom. I don’t have to bother explaining that right, you all know what that is. Will people switch from the native WebKit based browser to Opera? It’s too early to tell. We haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but we’re hoping it’s better than Mozilla’s recent Firefox 4 Beta, which took up far too much space on our device’s internal storage and had noticeable lag.
Will the browser wars play out on mobile devices, or will people just stick to the stock solution that comes with their phone? Seriously, what reasons would drive you to switch, other than maybe extensions or some sever side compression to aid with download speeds and your phone bill?
Keep an eye out, we’ll be reporting this as soon as it hits the net.