Opera has been making web browsers for desktop and mobile devices for years, and for most of that time the company’s been using its own Presto rendering engine. But now Opera has released its first Webkit-based browser.
Opera beta for Android is available for download from the Google Play Store.
Webkit is the same rendering engine used by Apple’s Safari browser, Google Chrome, and the default Android browser. It’s an open-source tool for rendering web pages, and by making the move to Webkit, Opera is hoping to free up resources to focus on other features including the look and feel of the browser, compression technology to speed up page loading speeds, and more.
Opera beta for Android should look familiar to anyone who’s used the company’s previous mobile browsers. It has the same Speed Dial start page which shows thumbnail icons for your favorite websites.
You can open multiple browser tabs and switch between tabs by hitting a button next to the location bar. And from the Opera settings button you can bring up a menu that lets you share, search, view downloads, and more.
Two other features that help set Opera apart from other browsers include a “Discover” page which shows recommended content from across the web in a magazine-style layout and “Off-Road Mode” which is supposed to optimize content for slow internet connections (but which can also cause some elements on a webpage to fail to load).