Opera Software has released a new Beta of the browser Opera for Android based on Webkit, bringing a revamped user interface aside from a new rendering engine. In order to signify the big change – the switch from Presto to Webkit – the company decided to skip version 13 and go straight to number 14. The current Opera for Android runs on Presto, so does the desktop version of the browser, but both will eventually move to the new rendering engine, a decision that was announced last month.
Opera beta for Android, does indeed look like a new browser. The interface has been totally overhauled “making it fit well with the latest Android design guidelines”, although the core features remain the same. There is the Opera Turbo feature, which has been renamed to Off-Road mode. When toggled on, pages are compressed and loaded via the Opera Mini servers, thereby reducing bandwidth and data cost.
The Speed Dial page has been improved, so that you can combine bookmarks into groups by dragging and dropping them on top of each other. A flick to the right reveals the History page. Flick left and you will see a new Discover feature, that pulls interesting content from around the web and displays it in a grid. The Discover section can be customized to display news for a specific country or based on interests such as technology, entertainment, sports etc.
The red O button has moved to the top right of the screen, just like in other Android applications, and it toggles a menu with advanced options, such as Save for offline, Sharing, Find in Page, Downloads, Settings, and more.
Opera beta is available testing on Android 2.3 and above.