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WebKit-based Opera Browser for Android Available

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Top message:  Presto! Hocus Pocus by Charles Bigelow   Mar 5, 2013, 9:27 AM

Replying to:  Re: Presto! Hocus Pocus by Eric M. Zeman   Mar 5, 2013, 10:03 AM

Re: Presto! Hocus Pocus

by Globhead    Mar 5, 2013, 11:12 AM

I just installed it on a Nexus S, and it doesn't work especially well. The existing Opera Mobile is also a little sluggish, but mostly works OK.

The first thing that happened is the welcome wizard crashed, but that went away and it started working.

The screen blinks on and off a lot when loading Fox or CNN, sometimes entirely and sometimes in partial chunks. It also sometimes goes completely black when loading a new page.

For some reason it keeps trying to kill my brightness manager and reset the brightness setting. I have no idea why, but Chrome also does this which is one reason I don't use Chrome. Opera Mobile did not do this.

I tried using the full ebay website, which is a monster for javascript. I think it is actually worse than before. Sometimes it won't even call up the keyboard, and when it does the keyboard responds slowly (swiftkey, which runs fine with other Opera versions).

I had a couple cases so far of an old Opera problem. You tap on a link, and it just reloads the same page and goes nowhere.

The only good thing is that "off road" (formerly Turbo) seems to work better than Opera Mobile. Turbo mode in Opera Mobile never helped as much as just using Mini, but in this version it appears to actually lighten things up.

As for the user interface, it stinks. They moved everything to the top of the screen to look like Chrome. That's stupid for 2 reasons. First, if I wanted to use something that works like Chrome, I would already use it. Second, it's a bad layout in general because I keep needing to reach for the top of the phone to do stuff which means more two-hand operations or clumsy shuffling. I don't care for their attempt to make it Android-like, as the menu settings are all double spaced and you have to scroll across 2 screens for what would otherwise fit on one. And the forward button is hidden as a menu option, so forward is always a two-tap operation.

They have to do some minor tweaks. Opera Link doesn't seem to be working. They used a plus sign for adding bookmarks (previously they used a star, as plus signs usually mean new tabs). There is what I assume to be a compass button in the menu, which I might guess would be a toggle for location sharing, but tapping it gives no indication of anything happening (it blinks like a real button, but doesn't change or say anything). They have the user agent (eg, mask as desktop vs. mobile browser) permanently set to mobile, which makes it kind of annoying to test stuff.

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