Opera Software has made available the latest release of its Opera Mini browser for Android smartphones, boasting improved hardware acceleration plus a number of user interface tweaks.
Available now as a free download from the Android Market or Opera's mobile site, Opera Mini 7 for Android features improved hardware acceleration, which makes for faster browsing and smoother panning around sites, the firm said.
Other improvements include changes to the user interface such as the option to add as many Speed Dial buttons as the user wants. Previously, users could only have nine of these visual bookmark thumbnails for accessing favourite sites on the Home screen.
Opera Mini also uses Opera's Turbo feature, which is designed to speed web browsing and cut download sizes by routing all web requests via a proxy server operated by Opera.
The proxy server optimises web pages, compressing them down by up to 90 per cent in size before forwarding them on to the browser on the user's handset.
Opera Mini faces competition from Google's Chrome, which was released as an Android version last month, while the native Android browser has already passed it in popularity, according to some figures.
Opera Mini 7 requires handsets with Android 1.5 or above.
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