Opera To Release A Hybrid Web Browser

By | October 24, 2011

In order to end the continuous user confusion and strengthen its position in the Android market, Opera Software will ditch both Opera Mini and Opera Mobile web browsers in favor of a hybrid option, according to the company officials.

Up until now, users had to decide, go with the Opera Mini and let its servers handle web pages rendering or chose a traditional approach and install Opera Mobile, which transfers such tasks to the consumer device.

While both versions have their own strengths and weaknesses, a hybrid version (due in 2012) will automatically detect the network capabilities and switch into Mini or Mobile mode, when required.

While we welcome such approach, there is little to no point on releasing a hybrid web browser when all you have to do now is enable the “Turbo” option in Opera Mobile web browser and enjoy the very same functionality that is found in Opera Mini.

Source: cNET

[Thanks, Rafael Luik]

About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So they are canning Mini and the “Mobile” name on Android, and making Turbo automatic.  Duly noted.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, they work in VERY different ways.  Enabling Turbo gives you SOME of the benefits of Mini, but not all, and Mini has some disadvantages…

      Opera Mini has no layout or javascript engine, that’s all done on the Opera servers, which send it a precompiled version of the page is a proprietary format.  Opera minit clocks in about 300kb in size.

      Opera Mobile has the same grown up layout, rendering and javascript engines as the desktop browser, it even features hardware acceleration on Android (the ONLY browser to do so currently).  Everything is processed locally and downloaded direct from the website, unless you enable Turbo mode, in which case images are compressed on-the-fly by Opera’s servers to reduce download times.

      That is the crux of if, as my understanding goes.

      • Anonymous says:

        So it will go into Gimped Mode when you’re in low-bandwidth situations, hopefully in an intelligent fashion.  Duly noted.

  2. WilmerHo says:

    You have not understood the principle of Opera Mini and Turbo. While for Mini the pages are pre-rendered on an Opera Server and then sent in a special format to the device, Turbo merely compresses (also on an Opera server) content like images on the page – the rendering itself still takes place on the device. Hence Turbo makes more sense for faster devices and Mini for very basic and slow handsets.

    Do you have any source for the information you presented? I’ve never heard of them wanting to merge the two before

    • No, it said nothing about the slow handsets detection and implied only about slow network.

      Also, newer Android devices are already powerful enough to handle Opera Mobile as Opera Mini was originally designed for cell phones made many years ago.

      • Tomáš Bergl says:

        >> Furthermore, when Opera Turbo is enabled, request is sent to Opera servers where content is fetched and compressed meaning that cell phones do not render the content!

        That is not correct. 
        To simplify it:  
        1) Opera Mini == OBML sent from servers. It just paints set of “graphic” primitives

        2) Opera Mobile == ALWAYS renders webpage.  Browser download normal(optimized) webpage content NOT OBML.

        Merging Opera Mini and Mobile on Android can have quite some benefits, although 
        someone will definitely complain about browser size, but that could be probably avoided by 
        some post-install…(like when you decide you need Opera CORE to render pages it will be downloaded …)

      • Rudi Visser says:

        What has rendering got to do with saving bandwidth? The average HTML page is around 4KB, all subsequent content is loaded, compressed, via Turbo’s servers… In the exact same way that it works on the desktop.

      • Mikah says:

        The compression used by Mini & Mobile differ Mini is more efficient.
        “Save money on data chargesOpera is the smart choice for browsing on expensive wireless data plans. Using the Opera browser to browse the Web with your mobile phone can save you money on your phone bills, by reducing your data usage substantially. The Opera Mini browser uses only a tenth of the bandwidth of other browsers, compressing webpages by up to 90%. With the Opera Mobile browser, turning on Opera Turbo compresses data up to 80%, or leave Opera Turbo off to get full website data, as you would on a PC. ”

        Opera will have to improve the Auto detection for Turbo at the moment it sucks on the desktop , Turbo is a great feature but I’m a far better judge of when its needed than Opera Auto

      • Ay says:

        Vygantas you dont know shit and your write a technical blog!

  3. WilmerHo says:

    Sorry, just saw the link to the source at the end…

  4. OperaFan says:

    One browser with Turbo and optional for turn off, that’s all there is. Well you can ran Mini on Wifi but what will that do.

    Most users don’t know that Opera Mini is for internet over mobile phone operator, Opera Mobile is for Wifi. I’m glad that they figure out what they want at Opera.

    Hybrid? Say what… 

  5. If Opera wants to gain market share with mobile browsing, the way to achieve it is to have tabbed browsing. Dolphin has understood this and occupied the space of the other mobile browsers.