Opera Mobile for Android to arrive within a month

The browser will use hardware acceleration to offer faster browsing

Opera Software will release the mobile version of its browser for Android-based smartphones within a month, the Norwegian company said in a blog post on Thursday.

Opera Mobile for Android will offer a faster browsing experience by using hardware acceleration and a new pinch-to-zoom feature. The existing versions of Opera Mobile and its Mini browser have two levels of zoom; one for the full page width and one for zooming in to read the text. The new feature will zoom from page-width down to the text you want to focus on in one fluid motion, according to Opera.

Opera Mobile will be available on all versions of Android.

For Android-based smartphones, Opera already offers the Mini version, which sends Web traffic via Opera's servers, compresses it and then forwards the content to the phone. The result is that less data is sent to the phone, but it also means that the browser can't show streaming video. The Mobile version works like a traditional browser and does all the processing on the phone, which, for example, results in better JavaScript performance, according to an Opera spokesman.

The browser battle on Android is starting to heat up. Last week, Mozilla released a beta version of Firefox 4 for Android-based smartphones, but it isn't saying when the final version will arrive. Opera Mobile and Firefox join the likes of Skyfire and Dolphin HD.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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