posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 19th Jun 2007 19:17 UTC
IconOpera Mini 4.0-beta was released today and this seems to be one of the best surprises of the year. It has Javascript, CSS support and zoom-in support similar to the iPhone's, but with all the processing happening to another server instead of your cellphone. Read more for screenshots and info!

Whatever arrives on your phone is streamlined and therefore, very fluid & fast to scroll around. The part that it's intelligent on Opera Mini is that when you visit a 100% width site (like the mobile version of OSNews or Gnomefiles.org), Opera Mini won't try to create a zooming map for it but it will render it as is, because it "knows" that it will fit on your current screen. This way, both older/simple & mobile pages still look good on the Opera Mini. Another algorithmic trick that Opera Mini employs is that while it does not reformat the whole site (although this can be enabled in the preferences), it does reformat text columns so when you zoom-in, you don't have to scroll left and right to read an article, but it just fits (Nokia's WebKit does this nice trick too).

We found Opera Mini to work wonderfully with complex pages like CNN & Digg and anything else we threw at it (including the badly-written Greek news site that I visit daily), but there were few layout problems with Slashdot (main story squashed) and some Javascript/layout problems on Live/Hotmail (the subject line was squashed on Inbox, while "checking all" automatically for deletion doesn't work if you don't check the emails one by one). Gmail worked fine, in its non-Ajax plain-HTML version (the mobile version worked too).

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