Hands up if you remember Opera Software, you know the Norway-based developer of alternative web browser clients. In the days before Firefox, Opera was the client most likely to shake up Microsoft and for a while seemed to be doing pretty well in that regard. Then Firefox came along and rained on the Opera parade. Some people all but wrote the Norwegians off, but while grabbing a decent slice of the desktop browser market may now be a distant dream there are other areas where Opera is no fantasy.

Mainly in mobiles.

Indeed, Opera Mini has become something of an embedded favourite with all sorts of mobile device users and if you use anything other than an iPhone the chances are high that an Opera client is working away inside your handset. Now Opera has announced the first Opera client for Android, indeed it harks back to the glory days in some regards as Opera is keen to remind the media that it is the first web browser client alternative for the Android operating system.

Opera Mini 4.2 for mobiles promises speed enhancements in excess of 30 percent compared to previous versions, as long as you are located in the US that is as it comes courtesy of a new Opera MIni server park within the United States.

Everyone else gets:

  • More than 90 language versions, including the recently added Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kirghiz, Lingala, Marathi, Malayalam, Mongolian, Oriya, Punjabi, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Uzbek, Khmer, Kashmiri, Lao and Turkmen
  • New skins for personalizing the look of Opera Mini
  • Opera Link support for notes, allowing users to sync their notes between the PC and Opera Mini
  • Improved real time streaming protocol (RTSP) handoff. This increases the number of phones with support for mobile video.

"With Opera Mini 4.2, we are showing the world that Opera never gets complacent. We will always be improving our product, adding speed, new functionality and features, and ensuring that it is accessible by all," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Our support of the Android platform helps fulfill our mission to be available on more platforms, for more devices and reach more users, anywhere in the world."