Since it was capped by the networks, mobile data has become a precious commodity. Browsing through your Instagram feed is now akin to flicking fifty-dollar bills into the air on a windy, fall day. You’d hope that your browser might help you out with this, but it turns out that only one, little-known, browser does: Opera Mini. And it’s awesome.
I never used to stray outside Safari. It is convenient, speedy, and linked to iCloud. But when you move out from the shelter of a Wi-Fi signal, Apple’s browser makes no adjustment for the slow connection. In comparison, every site you load in Mini is compressed (assuming you choose that option). This means that you only download the equivalent of a zip file over your network connection, instead of growing old while the original file downloads. Along with saving you data money, this also makes scouting around the web much quicker when there’s no Wi-Fi around.
This is particularly noticeable when watching videos. Mini v.9 was released this week, and it includes the latest version of Opera’s Rocket Optimizer, which crunches video and audio efficiently to match your device and connection speed.
Besides which, Mini is actually quite nice to use. While Opera on desktop feels like Firefox’s dumb sibling, the mobile version draws much of its interface inspiration from Safari. There are feature additions, though, such as the ability to download pages for offline reading — another nod to limited Wi-Fi access.
I can’t go as far as to recommend Opera Mini as your main browser, but as a free way of speeding up data browsing, it is a must-have download.
Opera Mini is available to download free from the App Store, Play Store and Windows Store.
Extra Time — iOS 8.1.1 Is on the Way
For owners of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, iOS 8 has so far been a shockingly painful experience. However, Apple is imminently going to roll out an update to 8.1.1, which apparently should speed things up for the older devices.
Not having tried it myself, I have no proof that Apple has fixed the problem with the new version, but at least there is hope…
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