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Opera Mini Dimension

The long-awaited beta of Opera Mini 4 (aka Dimension) has finally been released. It’s fantastic, and the best reason to get a data plan (until next Friday, if you live in the US near AT&T coverage).

Here are some points that stand out, because reading my site is so much better than checking out the official one:

• Full-screen view with zoom. This is similar to what the Nokia Webkit browsers (N series) do, and what Opera Mobile does on Symbian/PocketPC. The difference is that you get the awesome speed of Mini’s server-side compression/optimization.

Effect: Extremely fast web browsing with spacious views. No more single-column claustrophobia. This is what the iPhone will feel and look like, only without the touchscreen. But you can have it today.

• Better scrolling/movement. Something Opera Mini has needed for ages! Like many Sony Ericsson phones, mine has a joystick that get clogged with dust and fails to respond correctly most of the time. Putting heavy-duty actions like scrolling onto hardware buttons is a wise move. It also locks all content into invisible columns so that zooming in and scrolling produces nicely aligned text/images. It’s invisible genius magic.

Effect: A great mobile browsing experience like no built-in software can provide.

• Rewritten code base, from the ground up. The whole damned thing is 91kb and feels more buttery than the latest Firefox/Safari builds. When devs have time to code eye candy, you know the underlying product is solid. Unless said devs work for Microsoft.

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