Remember Opera’s top-to-bottom redesign of the browser for Android? It was codenamed Ice and brought a measure of sophistication to the popular Webkit-based browser. Now the browser has exited beta stage and has become a full-fledged app on the Play Store for any mobile phone running Android 2.3 Gingerbread or above.
Opera has gone for a light-coloured interface and redesigned the navigation bar, speed dial and favourites screens as well. The full version of the browser brings toggles to switch the navigation bar from top to bottom or vice versa. The navigation bar serves as a place to type in URLs or search keywords. Additionally, active tabs can now be taken to full screen mode easily. Opera claims the new browser wraps text better than any other browser in the market when users zoom in on those hard-to-read areas. The text rendering engine works without users having to scroll sideways every time they zoom in.
Opera is now out of beta
Of course, Opera has retained WebKit/Chromium 24 as the browser engine for this version, but a move to a new engine, Blink, is in the offing; the app will be updated to support Blink when it does arrive.
In terms of extras, Opera’s Android browser brings a content discovery feature that can be accessed by swiping right from the home screen. The Discover feature makes the browser a social and news feed as well. Opera says, “Pick your interests from categories such as Arts, News, Technology and more, and get back to discovering the internet all over again. It's all automatic, already installed in your Opera browser for Android.”
Opera’s famed data compression expertise is retained with the “Off-Road” mode that reduces data consumption massively in order to load pages faster and reduce data costs when roaming.