Opera released an update to the Opera Mini 5.1 client for Android last week. It’s version 5.1.22460 and according to Opera changes include:
- Adjusted font sizes.
- Font fixes for Chinese and Japanese, so speed on pages with these fonts should be greatly improved.
- Improved stability.
- Improved input for Sony Ericsson X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro.
- Chinese users can now download the application from the Android Market.
- A bunch of bug fixes.
I installed the update on a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G (HTC Shaphire). Unfortunately the new release seems to have some problems, at least on this older HVGA device. I noticed that:
- Image quality seems to be severely degraded even at the highest quality image setting. It looks like images are being resized upward which is something to be avoided because it inevitably reduces image quality. This can be seen in the pairs of images on this page. The old version is on the left. Click the thumbnail images to view full size.
- Mobile sites that used to fit the page are now too wide. Text doesn’t wrap properly and horizontal scrolling is required to read text, something I consider unacceptable. Examples include Dabr and Deviant Art (images above). In some cases this can be fixed by enable mobile view.
All the screen shots were done with the same settings for both browsers; high image quality, medium font size and desktop view. I’m don’t know if the issues I’m seeing are specific to the HTC Shaphire or the HVGA screen sizes or if they affect all Android models. It you are running Opera Mini on an Android phone and you are happy with it, I recommend not upgrading at this time. It you do decide to install the upgrade, be sure to make a backup of Opera Mini first. There are many free apps in the Android Market that can backup apps. The one I use is called AppMonster.
I’m a huge fan of Opera Mini and use it as my primary browser on all my phones including Android device. I don’t know what went wrong with this update but I’d sure like to roll it back. I though I had a backup of the previous 5.1.21126 version but it seems that I never actually backed it up. I’d appreciate if anyone could point me to a link to the previous version so can revert to it and post it here for others to use.
In other Opera for Android news, the release of Opera Mobile for the Google OS is getting closer. On October 13th, Opera announced that it would be coming “with in a month”. Today Opera launched an Opera Mobile for Android related contest for the best Opera Mobile Android wallpaper with a Samsung Galaxy S Android phone as the prize. You have a “at least a week” to submit your entries which seems to reinforce that the new Opera Mobile browser will appear sometime between the 10th and 12th of this month.
I was able to pull a copy of the old version 5.1.21126 from my wife’s HTC Evo which she hadn’t updated yet. Get it here Opera Mini 5.121126.apk.