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Opera Software has released the latest version of its mobile browser, and Opera Mini 4.2 boasts improved speeds and support for the Android-powered G1.
Users of the T-Mobile G1 can download the browser from the Android Market for free. It's the first alternative browser for the Android platform, and it competes with the on-board "Chrome light" browser that comes preloaded on the handset.
"Our support of the Android platform helps fulfill our mission to be available on more platforms, for more devices, and reach more users, anywhere in the world," Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement.
Opera Mini is designed to provide fast access to the Internet no matter what device or network speed the user has, and it's available on a handsets such as the Samsung Instinct, Windows Mobile smartphones, and BlackBerry devices. The Java ME-based browser works by rendering pages on a server and then sending it to the device, thus easing the connectivity demands of the phone. Opera said it has been able to improve speeds in the United States by 30% thanks to a new server park.
"With Opera Mini 4.2, we are showing the world that Opera never gets complacent," said von Tetzchner. "We will always be improving our product, adding speed, new functionality and features, and ensuring that it is accessible by all."
The 4.2 version also includes new skins for personalization, support for more than 90 languages, improved mobile video support, as well as the ability to sync bookmarks, browsing history, and notes with other devices through Opera Link.
The mobile browsing market is becoming increasingly crowded, but Opera Mini continues to grow. The company said there were 21 million unique Mini users in October, a 490% increase from the year before. One of the biggest appeals of this free browser is that it can be installed on a wide variety of handsets, including phones with minimal processing power.