Opera Mobile is back on Maemo – With Version 10

The guys at Opera are smoking hot, as they seem bent on putting Opera Mobile on every mobile platform possible. Say hello to the first preview build of Opera Mobile 10 for Maemo mobile OS, specifically the Nokia N900 and N800/N810.

Opera Mobile 10 for Maemo

From Opera Labs:

Back in 2005, Nokia released the Nokia N770. The included web browser was developed by Opera Software. In 2008, Nokia chose to stop including Opera with Maemo, switching instead to a browser developed internally. Today’s preview build marks our unofficial return to the Maemo platform, after a little over 3 years of absence.

This Maemo version of Opera Mobile 10 was created as a hobby project by a small team of developers in their spare time. In total, about 6 man-weeks were spent on creating the release. It’s worth pointing out that this is not an officially-supported release. As such, it has not undergone our usual quality assurance processes, and at times may not feel as polished or complete as an official release. This also means that there may never be a “final” release of Opera Mobile 10 for Maemo devices, since it’s just that much more fun to add shiny new features rather than fixing boring old bugs.

The preview build contains the same features available in Opera Mobile 10 for Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones. These include fast and economical browsing with Opera Turbo, bookmark and Speed Dial sync with other Opera products, and of course multiple tabs.

That sounds like the future is uncertain for Opera Mobile on Maemo. However, this build is landmark for Opera Mobile in two ways: it is the first public release of Opera Mobile to include Carakan — Opera’s new Javascript engine, and it is also the Mobile debut of their Vega rendering library which — among other things — is responsible for rendering all the exciting new eye-candy like CSS3 rounded corners and shadow effects.

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Opera Mobile 10 on Maemo also supports portrait rendering, alongside the other standard Opera Mobile features.

Note also that there are some known issues with this preview version, so watch out for the following:

  • Adobe Flash and other plugins are not supported.
  • Screen tearing may be visible when panning, especially in portrait mode. We expect to fix this in a future update.
  • The built-in on-screen keyboard is not supported. Use the physical keyboard or the on screen keyboard included with Opera Mobile.
  • There is no power management support. In practice this means that if you open a page with animations and leave Opera running, you will soon be using a payphone. Power is drained even when Opera is running in the background and/or the screen is turned off.
  • If you set Opera as the default browser, for example by installing the Browser Switchboard, an extra empty tab will get opened every time you open a link from an external application.

If you encounter problems, Opera will appreciate your reporting those bugs and issues using their bug wizard or on their forums.

I personally do not see any browser replacing MicroB on my N900, but I’ll give Opera Mobile a spin just for the fun. However, N900 users who are looking for a way to save on bandwidth usage may be tempted to play with this one.

Props to Hussein for the tip-off!

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

4 thoughts on “Opera Mobile is back on Maemo – With Version 10

  • May 11, 2010 at 10:25 am
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    Lovely article Yomi. I love that my favourite browser has come to the famous N900 platform (MAemo). I would like to inform you that opera shall exceed your expectation. Especially surpassing your inbuilt browser, MicroB. The opera mini browser on the iphone for instance, in my opinion, kind of beats the inbuilt safari browser. The same may hold true for maemo. Just give us a hands-on and let us know your verdict.

  • May 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm
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    Adobe has recently replied Steve Jobs’ open letter. ADobe started with stating “We Love Apple”, before the criticism of Apple operating a supposedly closed system.

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