I just received my first update for Opera mobile 10 browser for the N900 and what a difference it has made? Before I begin to list the advantages, let me just say that browsing the Internet on the Nokia N900 is already an awesome experience, as one is able to open the full website instead of a cut down mobile version. The experience is comparable to using a browser on your PC.
The other main advantage of the N900 is that it runs on Maemo (linux) and it is open source, so you are not tied down to the default browser, instead you can install a whole host of browsers that are available for the N900. I am not saying the default browser is crap, far far from it, but it’s nice to have choice.
Currently I am aware of the following browsers that work perfectly on the N900: Chronium (Google Chrome), Firefox (Mozilla), the default MicroB browser and now there is Opera mobile 10.
So what is so awesome about Opera? For starters it works in Portrait mode and you have all the options and buttons that you see in Horizontal mode. Scrolling and accessing links work really well.
This section is top class and really finger friendly. Everything is marked clearly and accessing Bookmarks, History, Start Page, Saved Pages, Downloads are quick and easy. There is also a Find in Page, Help and Exit button (for actually exiting the browser).
Again very pleasing on the eye, nice large buttons and it’s very easy to add a website bookmark. When you want to bookmark a page you tap on the Settings button, select Bookmarks, and the very first row is the “Add Bookmark” button. Directly below are the folders where you can add the bookmark too. The kenetic scrolling seems to be quicker in Opera for some reason. It might be my imagination, but it seemed a lot quicker.
You can add your own folders too by clicking on the New Folder button and then typing in your folder name. It’s not obvious as there are no buttons, but pressing Enter on the keyboard accepts the folder name.
Just like on the desktop version, there is a start page with nine little squares representing your favourite bookmarks. Very handy for quick access. You can edit, add or remove with ease by just holding down on the screen.
It is possible to have multiple websites open under one Opera window. There is a dedicated icon for this, which shows you exactly how many tabs you have open at any given time, and you can see the tab you are currently in because there is a close button on the thumbnail. (very clever indeed). The whole idea of multiple tabs as in the desktop versions of most browsers is a good idea.
That is enough for now, I’ll do another post later when I have mastered Opera 10 on my N900. For now if you would like to down Opera please visit Opera Labs, where you can download the latest version. As mentioned above, no sooner had I downloaded and installed it, there was an update from the repository. I think it was 6MB in size.