Do your self a favor get Opera 9.5 Mobile

I just downloaded Opera 9.5 Mobile for my Windows Mobile phone. And I have one thing to say. Wow! This brings a more standard compliant browser to your phone to replace the aging Pocket Internet Explorer. Opera 9.5 Mobile event beats the iPhone version of Safari in the ACID 2 and ACID 3 tests, so it is an amazing experience to finally get the full web, as it was intended, on my mobile device.

The features of Opera Mobile 9.5 will include the following:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Improved text wrap
  • Page overview, zooming and panning
  • Landscape mode
  • Save Web page for future offline access
  • Call phone number from Web page
  • Send link as SMS/MMS
  • Send image as SMS/MMS
  • Small Screen Rendering
  • Password manager
  • Web address input auto-completion
  • History and bookmarks
  • Copy text
  • Opera Widgets

The user mhalachev in the forums had the following to say about his first impression (and issues with the beta) of Opera Mobile 9.5:

- The default keyboard is altered when I start opera. (this one was quoted a lot of times, but it's very important for be, because I use alternate IME with cyrillic text input) - It is not necessary to pop-out the IME automatically every time, especially on devices with qwerty keyboard. - When I double-tap to zoom-in outside of a paragraph, it always zooms to the top-left corner of the canvas and not to the point where i've tapped. I don't know how you determine the exact size of the zoom-in area, but I've noticed that if the element is defined only with css properties (e.g. page header with backgroud-image) it zooms to the top-left. - It would be nice if you implement the soft keys to do something (I'm running it on Kaiser, but most wm devices have softkeys too), like in Opera Mini, where I can access the menu via soft keys) - It would be nice too if it'is possible to scroll and zoom with the d-pad, like in Opera Mini. - The Kaiser has a Tab key on the sliding-out keyboard. (other devices have too) You may catch it and make Opera jump between page links, like a tab key on a "normal" PC. - I liked the black theme on the first screenshots that you've posted in February. It will look good on the black htc theme. Think of making a theme, that takes it's colors from the device's theme. - I have the Flash plug-in installed (Pocket IE displays flash), so I would like to see flash content in Opera. The kick-ass mobile browser will be that one, that displays flash content along with AJAX. - Talking of AJAX, I would like to congratulate you for the support in Opera Mobile! It displays correctly various ajax-enabled sites, incl. the google reader for iphone etc. Various dom and dhtml gimmicks are rendered (almost) like on a desktop pc. - I would also like to suggest once again to take some of the navigation and control options from Opera Mini (the softkeys and the d-pad), because they are very convenient while on the go, with one-hand operation.

So as you can see this is pretty typical beta software with the normal line up of things to do before the gamma release.  But I definitely recommend checking it out.  This is a video produced by Opera to demonstrate the features of this new release, in case you are not convinced yet.

The following are know issues with the current release, as noted by Opera:

  • ActiveX is disabled — Flash plugins and embedded video streaming do not work.
  • Custom IME’s (like HTC’s IME) will be buggy at best, not working at worst.
  • Not multilingual build — Only English is supported. Problems with other languages (and input methods) are not unexpected.
  • Installation on memory cards may cause problems.
  • Text wraps in overview mode.
  • Main testing has been done on English HTC devices (Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Touch, Touch Dual, Touch Cruise, TyTN and Wizard) and Samsung i900.
  • We have got reports from some users that this build will disable the phones sounds/notifications.

Give it a try I know you will thank me.

Download: Windows Mobile 5/6 Pocket PC, version 9.51b1(Touchscreen-based devices only)

Nick Berardi

Entrepreneur, Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, co-founder and CTO of @CaddioApp, Father, and @SeriouslyOpen host