Opera Mobile 10.1 beta available for Android

As promised at its debut Up North Web press event last month, Norway’s Opera Software has officially launched a public beta of Opera Mobile 10.1 for Android devices, available now as a free download from the Android Market. Opera Mobile 10.1 features hardware acceleration for improved performance and a much-touted “pinch-to-zoom” feature, along with a downloads manager, speed dial capability, tabbed browsing, a password manager, and geolocation support. And, of course, being Opera all Web browsing can optionally pass through through Opera’s compressing proxy servers using Opera Turbo, meaning that browsing the Web in Opera uses less data than a standard Web browser.

“Android users now have a better choice when it comes to using a browser on their mobile devices,” said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen, in a statement. “With Opera’s new browser for Android, we give users the opportunity to access the Web, using the best tools available.”

Opera 10.1 for Android claims to offer fast performance, loading pages quickly and offering fluid scrolling, panning, and zooming of pages, aided in part by hardware graphics acceleration. The pinch-to-zoom feature works a bit like the desktop version of Opera, enabling users to select their own zoom levels. Opera Mobile 10.1’s Speed Dial feature enables users to quickly load their favorite sites, while a password manager reduces awkward attempts to enter passwords and manage on-screen typing. Opera Mobile 10.1 also features tabbed browsing, the ability to synchronize bookmarks across devices with Opera Link, support for SVG graphics, and geolocation support. The beta is available in 18 languages.

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