Opera Releases Beta of WebKit-Based Android Browser

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Opera Software has released a beta version of its latest mobile browser for Android phones and tablets, the first browser from Opera to use the open-source WebKit rendering engine rather than the company’s own Presto engine.

Opera BrowserAlmost a month ago, Opera first unveiled plans to adopt WebKit — the same engine used by Safari and Google Chrome — for future development of both its mobile and desktop browsers.

Last week, the company previewed the Android browser at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, announcing intentions to roll out the Android version during the first quarter of this year, with an iOS edition coming soon afterward.

What’s New

The new Opera for Android browser features a new user interface, a Discover feature, and an updated bookmark system called Speed Dial for easy access to frequently visited links.

The browser borrows some features from Chrome, such as tabbed browsing and a combined search and address bar, while also adding new off-line features.

When viewing content in Off-Road mode, users can experience faster browsing when faced with poor network strength or expensive roaming charges. The Opera for Android browser also offers a Save for Later feature, which allows users to download a complete Web page and save it to read later while the device is offline.

The Opera for Android beta is available for download from Google Play. It supports smartphones running Android OS 2.3 and up.

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