Ovi Store's Opera Mini is Different

Opera Mini Icons

It’s great that Opera Mini is now in the Ovi Store. I’m a big fan of Mini and use it on all my phones. It’s so much better than Nokia’s WebKit, the BlackBerry Browser and even the Android Browser.  Why? For one it’s much, much faster even on 3G or WiFi.  Plus it has the fit-to-width “Mobile View” option which does away the number one annoyance of mobile browsing – horizontal scrolling. Best of all it supports bookmarklets which I use daily for posting to delicious.com, adding new sites to the Wap review directory and tweeting links.

@alsiladka on Twitter discovered a couple of things that are different between the version of Opera Mini that’s in the Ovi Store and the one you get directly from Opera at mini.opera.com.

For starters it has a different version number  4.2.14386, compared with 4.2.14320 for the one from Opera.

Entering the URL  “debug:” in Opera Mini reavels a couple of new strings referencing Ovi:

client version: “Opera Mini/4.2.14386/hifi/ovi/en

branding: “ovi

The Ovi store version uses a different proxy server URL, nokiaovi.cust.opera-mini.net instead of server4.operamini.com.  I suspect this is for tracking purposes. I didn’t notice any difference in speed or rendering using the Ovi server.

The pre-installed (paid) bookmarks on the Opera Mini homepage are different too. The Ovi store version replaces the New York Times, Accuweather, buzzd,  Avantgo and ESPN with CNN, The BBC, Guardian and MySpace.  I always delete the default bookmarklets and use Opera Link to copy in my own so this is irrelevant as far as I’m  concerned

Those differences, while possibly interesting to a few people, don’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to the actual use of Opera Mini.

However there is one thing about the Ovi version that I found bothersome.  Its icon (top left in the image above) in the phone menu is really tiny compared with the one (top row center) that you get downloading from Opera. The icon’s background is white rather than transparent as well and really looks wrong and out of place.

I guess Ovi uses a single Opera Mini version with a least common denominator icon  for all Nokia devices. Opera’s content delivery system uses browser detection to deliver device specific builds with a properly sized icon.

Incidentally, is it just me or has the Opera logo gotten uglier and uglier with each new release.  In the screen shot above the Opera Mobile 8.65 icon (second row – left) looks really attractive and nicely done, Opera Mini 3’s icon is flat looking and the “O” is slightly irregular while Opera Mini 4.2’s looks all lumpy and downright crude. I think Opera’s graphic artists need to go back to the drawing, literally.

3 thoughts on “Ovi Store's Opera Mini is Different

  1. The Ovi version was built by Opera for Nokia. The server it uses is still part of the Opera domain. Opera does this all the time for OM versions that are pre-installed in firmware.

    The Opera Link issue is a real problem but Opera is aware of it and is working on a fix, I don't think it will be long.

    I don't use feeds in Opera Mini, they have always been unreliable, plus they don't synchronize with feeds in Opera PC or anything else.

    I recommend Bloglines (better on mobile) or Google Reader for feeds, that way you have your feeds in every browser on every device and both services are way more reliable.
  2. I don't understand: how can an 'ovi' version of opera mini replace the oms proxy server? One should always advise people to go, via there native browser, to mini.opera.com. But there are worst things happening at the moment, with om sync, in particular.If you look on the om forums, yeswap(!), you'll find that om is either not syncing, or only partially. I've lost most of my feeds - though I can re-access their addresses from debug: - and my bookmarks are there only intermittently. It seems they are having a real problem which I hope they sort out soon.

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