Several years ago, Operamini was King for me and many others I knew, those my early University days of browsing cheats. I’ve since switched to Google Chrome & Mozilla Firefox and only have the desktop version installed for comparison on projects. This isn’t to say that Opera has lost relevance entirely even though its market share as at March 2018 (according to w3counter) sits at just a little below 3% .
As a Webmaster, I’m not a big fan of Opera browsers because of the inbuilt Ad Blocking..its bad for business. As a Web Developer, Opera browsers are a headache because you need to create polyfills. Internet Explorer was a migraine and as a user, I still won’t touch Microsoft Edge even with a ten-foot pole…but that’s just me.
Today, Opera announced the Opera Touch mobile browser (yeah, too many Opera browsers already right?) with some cool features. One selling point of the browser is that it was designed to be easily used with just one hand. This is achieved by positioning the browser’s key functions within your thumb’s reach.
After reading the official announcement, I went ahead to install Opera Touch for Android and Opera’s latest Windows version (v52.0.2871.97). The iOS version wasn’t available as at post time. Here are some features I liked.
Navigation / Quick Search
Opera Touch’s home screen is a search tab where you can search (using Google Search) by typing, Voice search or by scanning a QR code. Flow and History are tabs to the side although you can easily access Flow by tapping the Navigation icon beside the address bar.
Flow enables you share links, images, videos or notes between your mobile and desktop Opera browser with end-to-end encryption. I was eager to test this feature since I surf on mobile and desktop browsers simultaneously but usually have to take several extra steps whenever I need to move links from mobile to PC and vice versa.
I started by visiting https://blog.hovatek.com/private-support/ (which is our Private Support page) on mobile. The goal was to move this link to the desktop browser so I could continue surfing that link without going through the usual rigors. On tapping the Flow icon in the mobile browser, I was prompted to Connect to computer so I tapped the purple button. Next up was a Scan QR code button so I headed over to the desktop browser and clicked the Flow icon then the blue Connect your phone button. Up came a QR code on the desktop browser so I scanned it with the mobile and connection was done (this is a one-time process).
Still on the mobile browser, I tapped the Flow icon beside the address bar (while the link I wanted to send from mobile to desktop was open in the browser window) and syncing began. I checked my Flows on the desktop browser and it was right there. I simply clicked and the link opened. Sweet!
Fast Action Button (FAB)
Long-pressing the hamburger icon at the bottom of the browser screen revealed my browsing history, search options, reload, close and Flow button (depending on which tab you’re viewing).
Using the FAB was a bit tricky at first till I figured you don’t take you hand off the screen after long-pressing but simply slide your finger to the option you wish to select then release (take your finger off the screen).
I’ll keep testing Opera Touch and update this post as I learn more.