Opera Mobile 10 Now Available for Maemo

Published by Asri al-Baker at 8:42 UTC, May 11th 2010

Opera Mobile 10 has been a mainstay of the mobile browser landscape for the last decade. On Tuesday, Opera Labs just announced the availability of a special build of Opera Mobile 10 for Maemo 4 and 5. The preview build contains the same features available in Opera Mobile 10 for Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones including Opera Turbo support (faster browser), bookmark and Speed Dial sync, and support fot multiple tabs. More information in the full story.

The build has been put together as hobby project by a small team of developers in their spare time. As such the Maemo version is not an officially-supported Opera release, which means it has not undergone the usual testing and quality assurance processes and there may not be a final release. Rather impressively it has taken the team around 6 man weeks to complete the project.

The release also marks the unofficial return of Opera to Maemo after an absence of 3 years. When the Nokia 770 was released, in 2005, the included browser was Opera. In 2008 Nokia chose to stop including Opera with Maemo and switched to their internally developed browser.

Opera Mobile N900

From Opera Labs:

"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.

We have two additional treats for Maemo users: this is the first public release of Opera Mobile to include Carakan — our new Javascript engine. Unfortunately, JIT support for ARM was not yet stable enough to include, but the speed advantage we gain from Carakan compared to Opera Mobile running on other platforms is already quite substantial. The second treat is the Mobile debut of our Vega rendering library which — among other things — is responsible for rendering all the exciting new eye-candy like CSS3 rounded corners and shadow effects."

The Opera Labs blog notes that are a number of known issues with the build including screen tearing, lack of power management and non-support for Flash and other plug-ins. This means the browser may not be suitable for the novice user.

Given its preview status there's not much reason for the average consumer to switch to Opera for N900 users (Maemo 5), unless you are already a heavy Opera user on other platforms (though, of course, its fun to experiment with a new browser). That said, the browser does offer good performance (speed) and an attractive user experience. N810 users (Maemo 4) may find more reasons as it arguably offers an improved browsing experience. 

Download here: Opera Mobile 10 For Maemo.

 

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