There’s a new version of the Opera mobile web browser for Android, and as expected it’s the first version to drop Opera’s Presto rendering engine and use Google’s Chromium foundation. In other words, you should have no problems opening web pages and web apps designed for Chrome or most Webkit browsers.
Opera’s Webkit-based browser for Android has been available as a public beta for a few months, but now it’s graduated from beta status and it’s ready for everyone.
But Opera isn’t just a Chrome clone. The mobile browser has its own user interface, an article discovery service, and optional data compression to save bandwidth.
Right now both Opera and Chrome use the Webkit rendering engine, but both are expected to move to Blink soon.
If you’ve been using Opera’s mobile browser for a while, you might not even notice the move from Presto to Chromium at first. The user interface is largely the same, with support for “speed dial” shortcuts on your home screen, the same location bar and app switcher at the top of the screen, and other features.
But in addition to the under-the-hood changes, Opera says the latest version of its Android app adds the ability to wrap text when you zoom, view active tabs in full screen, and search with a responsive address bar, among other things.
The Opera browser is available for Android 2.3 and later.