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Opera Mini

Opera Mini is a mobile web browser created by the company Opera. It was originally intended for the Java ME platform as a low-cost alternative to Opera Mobile, but it is now exclusively developed for Android. Previously, it was designed for iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8.1, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Bada. As of 2018, the only version still in active development is the Android build.

The Opera Mini web browser was derived from the Opera web browser. Opera Mini requests web pages via the compression proxy server provided by Opera Software. Before sending requested web pages to the mobile phone, the compression server processes and compresses them. The compression ratio is 90%, and as a result, the transfer speed is increased by two to three times. The pre-processing improves compatibility with web pages that are not optimized for mobile phones. However, interactive sites that rely on a JavaScript-processing device do not function properly.

Opera Software reported in July 2012 that Opera Mini had 168.8 million users as of March 2012. Opera reported 300 million unique Opera Mini active users and 150 billion page views served in February 2013. This represented a 25 million user increase since September 2012.

History of Opera


Opera Mini is a fork of the popular Opera web browser for personal computers, which has been available since 1996. Opera Mini was designed to be used on mobile phones that could not run a standard Web browser. It was launched on August 10, 2005, as a pilot project in collaboration with Norwegian television station TV 2, and was only available to TV 2 subscribers. On October 20, 2005, a beta version was made available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The browser was officially launched worldwide on January 24, 2006, after the final version was launched in Germany on November 10, 2005, and quietly released to all countries through the Opera Mini website in December. Opera Mini 2.0 was released on May 3, 2006.

New features included the ability to download files, new custom skins, more search engine options on the built-in search bar, a speed dial option, new search engines, and improved navigation. On November 1, 2006, the beta version of Opera Mini 3 added secure browsing, RSS feeds, photo uploading and content folding to its list of features and capabilities. Long lists, such as navigation bars, are folded into a single line that can be expanded as needed. On November 22, a second beta was released, and on November 28, the final version of Opera Mini 3 was released.

4th Edition of Opera Mini

Opera Mini 4 was released on November 7, 2007. The entire code was rewritten, according to Johan Schön, technical lead of Opera Mini development. By introducing Overview and Zoom functions, as well as a landscape view setting, Opera Mini 4 allows users to view web pages in a manner similar to that of a desktop-based browser. The user can scroll through a zoomed-out version of certain web pages while in Overview mode. The user can zoom into a portion of the page to provide a clearer view, similar to the functionality of Opera's Nintendo-based web browsers. This version also supports synchronization with Opera on a personal computer. Prior to Opera Mini 4, there were two editions of the browser available:

Opera Mini Advanced is designed for high-memory MIDP 2 phones, while Opera Mini Basic is designed for low-memory MIDP 1 phones. Opera Mini 4 took the place of Opera Mini Advanced. Google was the default search engine on Opera Mini at first. On January 8, 2007, Opera Software and Yahoo! announced a collaboration to make Yahoo! search the default. On February 27, 2008, Opera Software announced that Google would be the default search engine for Opera Mini and Opera Mobile going forward. On April 10, 2008, a version of the Android operating system was announced. Instead of porting the code to Android, a wrapper was developed to translate Java ME API calls to Android API calls.

Later iterations

On August 16, 2009, Opera Software released the beta version of Opera Mini 5.0, which included tabbed browsing, a password manager, improved touch screen support, and a new interface that included a visual Speed Dial similar to the one introduced by Opera Software in their desktop browser. The browser's use of compression and encrypted proxy-based technology to reduce traffic and speed up page display has the unintended consequence of enabling it to avoid several methods of Internet censorship. Since November 20, 2009, Chinese users have reported that when they use Opera Mini, they are redirected to an error page that directs them to download the Opera Mini China version.

China's fortifications. All of Opera's traffic will be routed through government servers. In 2009–10, a press release announcing that Smart Telecom of Indonesia had chosen Opera Mini for their devices stated that Opera Mini was the world's most popular mobile browser, with Russia and Indonesia being the largest users. On April 13, 2010, the Apple App Store approved the distribution of an iPhone version.

Opera began accepting registrations for the beta version of Opera Mini for Windows Phone on September 3, 2014. Six days later, on September 9, 2014, Opera Mini was released as a public beta for Windows Phone. Since the demise of Windows Mobile, this marked Opera's return to Microsoft's mobile platform.

The functionality of Opera Mini

A server is used by Opera Mini to translate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into a more compact format. It can also reduce the size of any image to fit on the handset screen. This step speeds up Opera Mini.

Most versions of Opera Mini use only the server-based compression method, which provides maximum compression but has some issues with interactive web apps. Opera Mini has three compression modes: "mini" (or "extreme" on Android), "turbo" (or "high" on Android), and uncompressed. The turbo and mini modes reduce data transfer while increasing speed on slower connections.

The Mini mode's functionality differs from that of a standard Web browser in that the amount of data that must be transferred is significantly reduced, but some functionality is sacrificed. Unlike traditional web browsers, Opera Mini fetches all content through a proxy server, renders it with the Presto layout engine, and reformats web pages for smaller screens. A page is compressed before being delivered to the phone in Opera Binary Markup Language (OBML), which Opera Mini can interpret. According to Opera Software, data compression reduces transfer time by two to three times, and pre-processing improves the display of web pages that are not optimized for small screens. The turbo mode, which is similar to Mini mode but bypasses compression for interactive functionality at the expense of less extreme data compression, was added later. On Android, the turbo and uncompressed modes use the "WebView" layout engine, while on iOS, the WebKit layout engine is used.

Only the mini compression mode is available in the Java ME and Windows Phone versions. Other versions can switch between modes, increasing functionality at the expense of less or no compression. Opera Software claims that in mini (extreme) mode, Opera Mini reduces data transmission by up to 90%; in turbo (high) mode, it reduces data transmission by up to 60%, similar to Google Chrome's Reduced Data mode.

When a user browses the web with Opera Mini, the request is sent to one of the Opera Software company's proxy servers, which retrieves the web page, processes and compresses it, and sends it back to the client (user's mobile phone) via the connectivity available at the time (mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, or any other option provided by the device) to access the Internet.

By default, Opera Mini opens one connection to the proxy servers, which it keeps open and re-uses as needed. This increases transfer speed and allows the servers to quickly synchronize changes to bookmarks stored on the Opera Mini server.

Over 100 proxy servers are maintained by the Opera Software company to handle Opera Mini traffic. They run Linux and are extremely parallel and redundant.

Opera Mini's standard support

Since March 16, 2015, Opera Mini's extreme compression mode has used an upgraded version of the Presto layout engine found in Opera 12. As a result, Opera Mini supports the majority of the web standards supported by Opera 12. Presto's development for Opera Mini has continued, with additional support for HTML5 input types, the CSS Flexbox model, CSS rem units, and ECMAScript 5 added. However, frames are flattened due to client limitations, and dotted or dashed borders are displayed as solid borders due to bandwidth and memory issues. Because Opera Mini reformats web pages, it fails the Acid2 compliance test.

Opera Mini supports bidirectional text, which means it can display right-to-left scripts like Arabic and Hebrew alongside languages written left-to-right. If the font size is set to small or very small, it will not display right-to-left text. Only if an appropriate font is installed on the device as the default system font will Indic and Chinese scripts be supported.

Opera Mini on a Smaller Screen

Small-Screen Rendering is the default rendering mode for devices with screens 128 pixels wide or smaller (SSR). The page is reformatted into a single vertical column in this mode, requiring only vertical scrolling. A feature is known as "content folding" automatically collapses long lists and navigation bars (hiding the majority of the list or bar). When you click the plus (+) sign next to the collapsed content, it toggles content folding. Web developers can enable SSR in the desktop version of Opera to see how their websites will appear on mobile versions of Opera. Images in SSR mode are scaled down to no more than 70% of the screen size in either direction.

The opera mini is rendered by a complex script.

If a required font is not available on the device, Opera Mini can send content in bitmap image form, which is useful for Indic scripts. Non-Latin character sets such as Hindi, Bengali, and a few others are supported.

JavaScript support opera mini 

When using Opera Mini to browse the Web, JavaScript is processed by the proxy server and only rendered on the device. This restricts interactivity. Scripts on the device cannot run in the background. If a script (on the server) is paused, the browser must communicate with the server to unpause it. Due to resource constraints, JavaScript will only run for a few seconds on the Mini server before pausing. Before the page is sent to the mobile device, Opera Mini fires onLoad events, and all scripts are given a maximum of two seconds to execute. Because the setInterval and setTimeout functions are disabled, scripts that are supposed to wait a certain amount of time before running will not run at all. After the scripts have been completed or the timeout has been reached, the page is compressed and sent to the mobile device. Only a few events on the device are permitted to trigger scripts:

onUnload: This event occurs when a user navigates away from a page.

When a form is submitted, the function onSubmit is called.

onChange: This event is triggered when the value of an input control changes.

When an element is clicked, the onClick event is triggered.

When one of these events occurs, a request is sent to the proxy server to process the event. The proxy server then runs the JavaScript and sends the updated page back to the mobile device. Pop-ups replace the web page being viewed if they are not blocked by JavaScript restrictions. To assist authors, Opera has published Web content authoring guidelines.

In addition to Mini mode, Opera Mini supports Turbo and Uncompressed modes. The amount of data transferred is still greatly reduced by compression in Turbo mode, but, unlike in Mini mode, JavaScript is not intercepted by the server and works properly.

When one of these events occurs, a request is sent to the proxy server to process the event. The proxy server then runs the JavaScript and sends the updated page back to the mobile device. Pop-ups replace the web page being viewed if they are not blocked by JavaScript restrictions. To assist authors, Opera has published Web content authoring guidelines.

In addition to Mini mode, Opera Mini supports Turbo and Uncompressed modes. The amount of data transferred is still greatly reduced by compression in Turbo mode, but, unlike in Mini mode, JavaScript is not intercepted by the server and works properly.

Opera Mini's privacy and security

For security, Opera Mini encrypts the connection between the mobile device and the Opera proxy server. On the first start, the encryption key is obtained by requesting random keys a certain number of times. Opera Mini supports the most advanced Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, as well as modern secure ciphers such as AES-GCM and ECC. However, when visiting HTTPS encrypted websites for data saving purposes, Opera Mini's Extreme mode does not provide true end-to-end security. When using "Extreme/Mini mode," when visiting an encrypted web page, the Opera Mini servers first decrypt the page, compress it for data saving, then re-encrypt it before forwarding it to the destination phone. The connection is not intercepted by the Opera Mini server while browsing a secured site in "High/Turbo mode" or "Uncompressed mode." That is, using High or Uncompressed mode does not compromise end-to-end integrity.

Opera Mini Features

Cloud acceleration and data compression technology are used by Opera Mini. Opera Mini servers serve as a proxy, compressing and rendering web page data before sending it to users. This procedure aids in the faster loading of web content.

Keystrokes can be used to switch between portrait and landscape mode, or phones with orientation sensors will switch automatically. The default orientation is changeable. Image quality can be set to "Low," "Medium," or "High." The image quality setting you select influences page load times. Opera Mini only supports one font, which can be scaled to "Small," "Medium," or "Large." When a web page uses Courier or a generic monospaced font, the characters are spaced out so that each character takes up the same amount of space.

Opera Mini's browsing tools

The address bar in Opera Mini can use several pre-configured search engines. More search engines can be added by the user. Google and Wikipedia are the default search engines.

Ads are blocked by Opera Mini. When this option is enabled, the Opera Mini servers attempt to filter out advertisements before rendering the page and sending it to the client's phone.

Opera Mini includes an AI-powered news aggregator that serves personalized news, as well as a night mode and private browsing. It also has the ability to save bookmarks, download files, stream, and save web pages for offline reading, as well as remember the user's browsing history.

Opera synchronization

Saved Bookmarks, Speed Dials, and Opened Tabs could be backed up and synchronized between different phones or with the Opera browser on computers by signing into an Opera Account. And is accessible via the web interface during Opera synchronization.

Network operators

Telenor, AT&T, Vodafone, T-Mobile, KDDI, Omnitel, Pannon GSM, Telefónica Móviles de Espaa, and TMN are among the mobile network companies that pre-install Opera Mini on their phones.

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