I while ago I wrote about how Gravity, a native Twitter client for Symbian added some much-needed sexiness to that somewhat outdated operating system. But what Symbian was really lacking was a good, modern browser. And it seems like Opera has just fixed that.
Mobile isn’t Mini
When I first got my phone I installed Opera Mini, which, probably because it’s Java-based, wasn’t much of an improvement. It had other quirks, not so much fewer of them. But then a couple of days ago, Opera released a beta for their upcoming Opera Mobile 10 browser. I gave it a try, and I have to say I came away thoroughly impressed.
Opera’s new offering has a completely reworked interface that feels very modern, and is extremely easy to use. It handled everything I threw at it (including things like Gmail and Transmission’s web interface). And apart from a few slowdowns it seemed rock solid. This, much like Gravity is a piece of software that breathes some life into Symbian again. Finally, Symbian users have acces to common features such as tabbed browsing. If the OS is to succeed as an open source project, it’s going to need programs like this. In fact, they I’d recommend they’d use Mobile’s UI as a starting point for a user interface redesign. Now if only Symbian would let you specify the default browser…
*** EDIT ***
In case you’re wondering how to change the default speed dial shortcuts, Opera Mobile has a ‘right mouse button’ function. On a non-touchscreen phone, select a thumbnail and click and hold the center D-pad button until a menu pops up. Another thing to keep in mind is the shift and ctrl keys work like on a regular keyboard. You need to hold them down while pressing the next key. This is a departure from Symbian conventions, and I’m not sure how I feel about this.