After a short delay Opera made this morning the first public beta available of their Opera Mobile 9.5 browser, which we already have seen on the HTC Touch Diamond device. However it now becomes available, in beta ofcourse, for the wide public.
I first saw this browser working on the HTC Touch Diamond launch event, since it is in my opinion one of the unique selling points of the device. My description of the Oper Mobile 9.5 browser can be read below:
I will focus on Opera 9.5 and some additional (multimedia) features. In a live demon with HSDPA coverage the “Top Gear” page is used as an example. With a tab-and-hold on the page one can simple drag the page to the right position (compared to the pan view in some graphical applications). A double tap on the picture of an article immediately forces the zoom in on the article, including text wrap of the content. No left right scrolling anymore.
On the HTC Touch Diamond, the Opera browser was closely tied to the TouchFLO 3D interface, and we see in this general version a new button with finger friendly shortcuts to the most important options of the browser. These shortcuts open pop-up menu’s which make navigation through the software extremely fast. As described above, the major browsing-, manipulate- and zoom-functions are very intuitive, which in crease the usability of the software.
Arne Hess from the::unwired has shot a real nice video review [ref03], which provides a nice overview of the different options of this great browser. He tested it on both a Sony Xperia and his HTC Shift !! Matthew Miller from ZDNet has also a very nice image gallery [ref02], which are worth checking out !! Have a look, and download yourself to enjoy the browsing experience. This comes very very close to the iPhone browsing experience, and is really clever designed, so well done Opera !!