Opera releases social networking enabled Opera Mini 7

Opera, currently the subject of much speculation as a target for acquisition by Facebook Inc, has released version 7 of its popular Opera Mini browser for phones.

Opera Mini is estimated to be the world’s most widely used mobile browser, primarily due to its ability to provide a comfortable browsing experience on even modest phones.

Opera Mini makes browsing easier on mobile phones by adapting complex and heavy web pages to a simple format that well suited to the smaller displays on mobile phones. A typical cloud application, it shifts a large part of user-end computation, such as running javascript, to special servers that it runs. All traffic is routed through these ‘simplifying servers’.

The company also uses data compression techniques to reduce the amount of data consumed by a user.

Opera Mini 7 has stuck to its roots as a browser for modest phones, but has still added quite a few features to make it a worthwhile update from version 6.5.

For example, the start page now has ‘live’ tiles that can show you updated information from your Facebook or Twitter accounts, news headlines from your favorite websites etc..

Earlier, the start-up page used to show bookmarked webpages. The bookmarks are now available as a separate tab on the front page.

It also now comes with ‘suggested links’ — an array of websites organized into different topics such as Music, Movies etc..

On March 2012, Opera reported 168 million unique Opera Mini users and 117 billion page views served during that month.

For more powerful phones, Opera also has a product known as Opera Mobile. Both products are also available on Tablets, including the iPad.

The Scandinavian company, despite failing to achieve the hoped-for success on the PC market, is one of the biggest brands on mobile.

It is, therefore, coveted by companies trying to gain a foothold on the mobile market, such as Facebook and Google Inc..