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Opera for Android exits beta, ready to take on Chrome

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Opera Android
Opera Android

Less than three months after launching in beta, Opera for Android is ready for the masses. Based on the popular WebKit engine, Opera for Android isn't drastically different from other Android browsers, but it does carry over a few popular features from the desktop version.

Headline features include the "Speed Dial" menu that's been around since Opera first transitioned to mobile many years ago, and an "Off-Road" mode that connects you to the web through a proxy. Opera's proxy compresses data, which both speeds up page loads and helps you stretch out your mobile data allowance. This feature has again been around for many years on other platforms, and is particularly useful in emerging markets, when roaming, or in any situation where data is at a premium. Perhaps in reaction to Opera's refreshed Android strategy, Google recently added a similar proxy to the beta version of its Chrome for Android browser. If you're interested in trying out Opera's new browser, it's available as a free download from the Google Play store.