Opera browser with WebKit render engine now available for Android

5 March 2013 by
Opera last month announced the transition from its in-house developed render engine to the open source WebKit engine also used by Apple iOS and Android. A beta version of the new browser is now available for download

New beta Opera browser for Android

Opera Software, the company behind the popular Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers announced last month that it will change much of the technology behind its browsers. Opera has always done excellent work with its browser products. The rendering and Javascript engine powering different browsers from the company has strived to follow the web standards. The Opera CTO was the person proposing CSS which describes how web pages are presented. This is an important part of how the web works today. Opera said that it takes too much resources to keep its own render engine and that the WebKit engine now has become very good. This is why Opera Software has decided to abandon its own rendering technology and instead use WebKit just like the iOS and Android browsers do.

Today Opera Software released a beta version of the first browser from the company that uses the WebKit engine. The browser has a new look which should look familiar for those using an Android phone. There are now three type of main screens. History, Speed Dial and Discover. History is a list of web pages visited. Speed Dial is a page with a list of icons representing a collection of bookmarks, or folder holding bookmarks. The Discover feature is a collection of new articles based on the app location settings and selected favourite topics.

The Opera browser now also offer something called Off-Road mode which simply is the same thing found in the Opera Mobile browser. When Off-Road mode is activated, all requests from the browser goes through centralized Opera servers which will fetch the web content from the source, compress the content before sending the compressed content back to the mobile browser. The bandwidth is reduced by 90% when Off-road mode is activated.




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