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Opera releases download helper

20 November 2012, 17:09 Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Opera Software has released an updated browser that lets basic phone users download files with less hassle.

The company released an updated version of its Opera Mini browser that leads statistics on mobile devices along with a J2ME feature that facilitates easier downloading of content.

"The Opera Mini 7.1 browser features a new, revamped download manager that lets the user easily handle downloaded media such as documents, multimedia and other content," Opera said.

Downloads can also be paused when a connection is lost and it is automatically resumed when a connection is available. This feature might be also be useful for prepaid users who may run out of airtime credit during a download.

Opera is hopeful that the growth of mobile devices will translate into wider adoption of their browser which can save users costs because it compresses data.

Feature phones

"As mobile and desktop start blending with tablets et cetera - we have around 250 million active users per month - on mobile and desktop.

"As these form factors become more common, I think we're in a good position to have a lot of growth there," Opera's Nuno Sitima told News24.

On feature phones, the software allows the user to open the files directly, but on BlackBerry devices, the file is opened through the browser.

According to StatCounter, Opera Mini is still the leading mobile browser at a 22% market share, but Google's Chrome is catching up quickly.

On desktops, Opera is a marginal player, though it has a substantial following in Russia. Sitima attributed the flat desktop growth to marketing spend.

"On the desktop, it's a much more expensive market to break through because of the big players. On mobile for us, we were a bit smarter: We understood the market better, we tried to adjust a bit faster; we took that first mover advantage."

Opera Mini is a free download from the Opera Software website.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter



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