Opera has released a new beta version of its Android app which brings many improvements, including the switch from the Presto browser engine to WebKit. WebKit is used in Chrome as well as the AOSP browser. Here is the full list of changes and improvements:
- New look: Opera for Android sports a completely new user interface that is more elegant and built to the native specifications of the Android platform.
- Discover feature: This provides a new way of discovering content on the web. From the Discover panel of the startup screen, you can read a selection of popular articles and dig deeper into your interests, such as sports, technology, lifestyle or news. Opera has selected relevant global and regional sources, so let Opera do the surfing for you.
- New, revamped Speed Dial: Opera’s engineers discovered that users like to have links readily available in the Speed Dial, yet also wanted the flexibility of a bookmark folder. With the new Speed Dial, the bookmarks are fused together with the Speed Dial entries to provide a new experience. It’s easier to group, organize and rename Speed Dial entries or gather them in folders — all with the touch of your thumb.
- Off-Road mode: Opera for Android integrates the compression technology from Opera Mini, for faster browsing when conditions are rough. Bad network or costly roaming while traveling? Just switch to Off-Road mode and keep on surfing.
- Combined search and address bar: Opera has combined the search and URL field for a more elegant UI and more intuitive input.
- Tabbed browsing: The elegant tabbed browsing makes it easier than ever to browse, open and sort all your open browser windows on your phone. It even offers private browsing, just like the Opera desktop browser.
- History: With the easily accessible history mode, return to that page you saw earlier today fast — just swipe your finger to the right to access the content on the left on your home screen.
- Save for later: This feature lets the user download a complete webpage and read it later while offline. It’s perfect for reading long articles on flights without Wi-Fi or just when you don’t want to connect to the internet.
Opera also released a video showing off the new Android browser. Hit the break to check it out.
In a recent interview, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that due to competition from other carriers, Verizon’s subsidized prices are expected to drop within the next 2-3 years. Shammo said, “I’m a believer that over the next two to three years subsidies will start to decrease just because of the ecosystem.” Value-priced smartphones are becoming more prevalent in the competition, which is why it makes sense for Verizon’s move to lower subsidy costs. Shammo also mentioned that Verizon will start producing devices without CDMA radios built into them as voice technology moves towards LTE radios (VoLTE), thus averting more subsidy costs.
T-Mobile has said they plan to move exclusively to Value-Plans which has caused competitors like AT&T and Sprint to keep their eyes on the progress T-Mobile makes using these plans. It’s no surprise that Verizon plans to do the same. Carriers usually see a decrease in profit when they sell in higher volumes because of the subsidy costs. By cutting these costs, Verizon and the consumer both benefit; the consumer will have more affordable devices at their disposal while Verizon eliminates losses and generates more revenue.
T-Mobile launched the Samsung Galaxy S III around the same time as other carriers, but due to its 4G LTE network not being deployed until this year, there was no LTE support. That’s about to change now after the Galaxy S III was spotted passing through the FCC with T-Mobile LTE support. Known as the Samsung SGH-T999L, consumers can anticipate its arrival on March 27th. The phone will also have support for HSPA+ over the 850, 1700, and 1900MHz bands, including LTE Band 17 which is utilized on AT&T smartphones. In other words, T-Mobile customers who unlock this upcoming version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, could use it on AT&T’s network.
Ever since Facebook added voice messages as part of their Messenger service, we knew that the next eventual step would be voice calling or VoIP. They already start VoIP through Messenger for iOS users in the U.S., but nothing was available for Android users until now. The latest Android update added it, but only for our friends up north in Canada. Canadian users can now make calls over WiFi or their mobile data connection to other Facebook friends in Canada or even those in the U.S. provided they are on iOS. They can also start and name group conversations.
At some point in the future we will probably only need a data plan from our mobile providers and Facebook is making it that much closer. Utilizing VoIP on our mobile phones makes sense, but it probably won’t take off until the major carriers stop forcing us to have calling plans.
Twitter has announced that it will no longer continue supporting TweetDeck on iOS and Android devices. Twitter says that this is due to a desire to focus more on its web applications and the Chrome-based version of TweetDeck. As a result, the mobile versions of TweetDeck are scheduled to be discontinued in May 2013.
Previous rumors pinpointed March 7 for the release of the Verizon LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (SCH-i925). Samsung just dropped us a line confirming the date and the price will be $599 for both in stores and online. It’s basically the same Galaxy Note 10.1 WiFi-only version we reviewed last year, but with the addition of Verizon Wireless LTE connectivity. It sure is a hefty price to pay, but the good news is you won’t be on a contract, and if you’re on their Share Everything plan, you can can simply add it for only $10 extra per month.
Have you ever wanted to get in on that certain paid app, but didn’t quite want the feeling of you know… having to deal with paying for the app. This is especially the case when many of the paid apps out there can quickly wear off in novelty and users out there are pretty much stuck with what they paid for. Well Canadian start-up Mobiroo has the solution for you: a paid subscription for all-you-can-download apps. Taking a page out of other subscription services like Gamefly or Netflix, users pay a mere $2.49 monthly in order to access and download a variety of paid apps out there, thanks to some savvy agreements and licensing deals between Mobiroo and various developers out there. Oh and best of all— there’s no time commitment for the service, so users are free to cancel at anytime without penalty.
Naturally the list of titles associated with the service is fairly limited for now, but you can expect the list of paid titles to grow as the service gets more and more popular. If you’re interested, hit past the break to get more deets about the services. You’ll certainly be glad you did.
Remember that leak of Android 4.2.2 (JDQ39) we saw over the weekend for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus? Well thanks to a little help from XDA member oldblue910, the download is now available for you to install. Now it’s unlikely that this is the final version of the build, but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy a little 4.2.2 goodness. You don’t need to be rooted, but if you are, you need to be running 100% stock Android 4.1.1 (JRO030) in order to apply the update.
Koushik Dutta, developer of ClockworkMod’s popular Carbon – App Sync and Backup app, announced via Google+ today support for devices that have full device encryption. The new functionality also means the app can work with “Desktop Backup Password” protection, which is used to protect adb backups. In answering questions posed by fellow Google+ users, Dutta indicates he is planning to add cryptfs support in recovery in an upcoming update. Read more
Exciting news for those of you on the edge of your seats in anticipation for the Galaxy S IV release! @evleaks claims to have first hand leaked images of the new handset, along with an impressive list of specs for your oogling pleasure. Read more