Opera Mini 3.1 Released

 Opera Mini 3.1 screen There’s a new version of Opera Mini out. The new release fixes quite a few bugs and adds support for the T-Mobile Dash and most of the Motorola iDEN handsets used on the Nextel network here in the US, Telus in Canada and a dozen or so small carriers around the world. Details on the Opera Mini Blog.

For most Opera Mini users this is a minor release, but not for me. My main phone is a Motorola i855 on Nextel’s Boost Mobile prepaid subsidiary. I’ve been using Opera Mini since I got the phone almost a year ago, but Opera’s never officially supported any iDEN phone. Since the release of Opera Mini 3.0 only the MIDP 1.0 “lofi” version of Opera Mini has worked on my phone. There’s nothing wrong with the lofi version, in fact it’s much, much better than the phone’s built in browser. But I’ve been salivating over the features of Mini’s MIDP2 edition, particularly the ability to assign bookmarks to a hot-key – which makes Opera Mini Bookmarlets ever so much handier.

I was not disappointed by Mini 3.1. After installing it with the iDEN JAL loader, I fired it up and found that in addition to the expected benefits of Mini hifi, like hot-key bookmarklets, content folding and full screen browsing there were two more surprises. The ugly and bogus “Java Memory is Extremely Low” message that has plagued the startup of every version of Mini on iDEN Motorolas was gone. And miraculously photo blogging works!

Before you get too excited, photo blogging, while it works, is a bit of a letdown. First the i855 like most Motorolas has a wretched camera, with this low-end camera phone’s VGA shooter being particularly bad. Secondly, after you shoot a picture, Mini has to do something it calls “generating a preview” that takes a couple of minutes! Until the preview is generated you can’t do anything with Mini although you can still use the phone’s calling and texting functions and built in browser. I suspect that this delay is not Opera’s fault but some very unoptimized image handling code in the phone’s Java Virtual Machine. But hey, I didn’t buy this phone for it’s camera which I never use anyway.

Using Opera Mini as a browser, on the other hand, is blindingly fast. iDEN is a slow network delivering throughput of 20kbps in rural areas and up to 80kps in WiDEN enabled major metros. With the phone browser I generally stick to sites with minimal graphics as loading images is frustratingly slow. With Mini, I find I seek out image rich sites like Engadget, ESPN, Flickr and the BBC because the pictures load and render quickly and look great.

There have been hints on the Opera Watch Blog that some sort of “special” downloading method or instructions for iDEN phones is coming. I’m hoping this means that Nextel has agreed to host Mini on their download portal like they do for Google’s gMail app. In the meantime, for fellow iDEN users – here are some direct links to the Mini 3.1 hifi .jad and .jar with the short filenames required by iDEN JAL.



12 thoughts on “Opera Mini 3.1 Released

  1. i have a telus lg keybo 9100.I currently am without a home computer and can’t seem to use the mobile web on my phone 4 the life of me.I always sseem to get acsess denied or http reports and I’m pretty near going bonkers any help would b greatly appreciated thanks soo much

  2. TELUS LG 6190 “Fast Tap” phone. Can it handle Opera mini in any vesion? They`re old, I know…

  3. I’m really sorry for sounding like a noob. I’ve never done this before but hate the built in web browser on my Telus LG Keybo. Whenever I try to put Opera Mini on my phone, it doesn’t work! It says something like, “Invalid Security”. I don’t know, help please!

  4. Of course they won’t help me out, but i was wondering if there was a way around the initial 4 test, or maybe a way of making opera mini connect through google instead of directly? I apprieciate any help

  5. *sigh* *harrumph* *cough* *hack* *spit*

    The Nokia 6265i is of course not a Motorola iDEN phone. Because it’s a Nokia CDMA phone. The 6265i will run Opera Mini 3.1, but as far as I can tell, Cricket prevents you from connecting with anything they haven’t approved. The phone’s hardware is perfectly capable, it’s Cricket that won’t let you do anything. (Maybe for licensing reasons? Call customer support, see how unhelpful they are.)

  6. how can i get this to work on a cricket nokia 6265i to be exact, it wont get past the initial 4 test, it says failed to connect to the internet, but i know i can et there through google.com. please help

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