It's been a long time coming but today Opera Software announced that the native Windows Mobile version of Opera Mini 5.1 is out of Beta and available immediately for all Windows Mobile 2003 SE, 5.x and 6.x handsets. Download it from m.opera.com using your phone's browser or visit opera.com/mobile/download/pc/ with your PC to download the .cab file for sideloading.
According to the announcement, this release includes:
- Ability to set Opera Mini as default browser on the device.
- Support for g-sensor screen rotation on HTC and Samsung devices.
- Support for predictive input if the device supports it natively.
- Improved page layout on high-resolution screens.
- Improved kinetic scrolling.
- Use HQVGA skin for devices with less than QVGA resolution.
- Installer is now signed with VeriSign so Opera Mini will be a trusted application on your handset.
- Alternative installer that works on Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC devices.
- Advanced configuration in registry for power-users (see here for more information).
- Multitap input is working on 'classic' keypad devices.
- Input is working on qwerty keypad devices by Samsung and Amoi.
- Keypad shortcuts working on more devices.
- Ability to download files to memory card.
- Clock in Opera Mini is correct in all time zones now.
- Spanish locale is correctly detected.
- URLs and downloaded files can be passed to other applications as a platform request.
- Many bug fixes in Opera Mini browser core for stability and rendering accuracy.
- Opera Mini 5.1 will be installed in parallel with Opera Mini 5.0 beta if the latter is already installed on your device.
- Opera Mini 5.1 will not import existing user data from Opera Mini 5.0 beta. Please consider using Opera Link to bring over bookmarks and speed dials to the new version.
- When set as default browser, Opera Mini 5.1 will not be the default viewer application for html files or other web page related files that may exist locally on your device.
It's no secret that the Windows Mobile 5.0 Beta of Opera Mini 5.0 had more than its share of bugs. WinMo users on the Opera Mini forum have been clamoring for a new release for months. I don't have a Windows Mobile device so I can't test the new release personally but initial reaction on the forum and in comments on the official Opera Mini Blog have been very positive. If you have a compatible device I definitely recommend trying Opera Mini, which is the fastest mobile browser on any platform and in my opinion the one with the best user interface and usability.