Opera Mobile vs native browser on Nokia E72

Comparison between Nokia E72’s native browser and Opera Mobile by a regular user

I had a Nokia E72 for the last 3 months and I have used it on a daily basis as my main phone. Of course, this includes browsing. Since I spend quite a bit of time browsing and most of all I want it to be efficient and snappy, I tried the native browser first and what I assumed would be the best browser available for the E72 later: Opera Mobile.

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Speaking of crappy User-Agent strings

I am normally a fan of Opera Mini and I use it quite often on my V640i, but yesterday we stumbled on a very wierd string.

A Samsung SGH-E740 (on Device Anywhere, so you can probably try it yourself) has Opera Mini installed and the User-Agent string is Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/1.1.7621/hifi/tmobile/uk; Motorola V3; en; U; ssr).

Now WHY is that “Motorola V3” string there? Surely this is not a Razr V3, surely Opera Mini aspires to be a better browser than the one pre-installed on the Razr V3, so WHY?

I don’t have a clue, of course.

PS: The X-OperaMini-Phone-Ua header is there and has the original User-Agent string.

ATAC Roma improves the services for mobile users

I can’t really say “I just received” as this e-mail is dated back June, 1st, still I think it’s very good news. My friends at 01design have officially launched the new services for mobile users for ATAC Roma. ATAC Roma is the company that takes care of all public transportation in Rome, quite a good example of how a service should be tailored for the mobile context.

I went to try to service, but apparently you need to have a subscription with ATAC Roma, which I don’t have. This sounds like a big limitation, as I’d be happy to be able to access news and updates even if I’m just a tourist. I hope this is just a limited time closed service and that it will be open to all.

ATAC used to have a WAP site developed on top of WURFL, it sounds like the mobile section of the services have worked out and they decided to go with a more complete service that includes updates, news and so on.

The site is optimized for Opera Mini. Again, too bad I could not test it. I will look for a test account and update, if possible.

Well done!

e-mails organized in threads

I remember when Opera initially launched the concept in its e-mail client that you did not really need folders to organize your e-mail, but that it was sufficient to group them.
Fairly recently Google reviewed the same concept and defined the labels and a very similar way of organizing your e-mails. Google certainly added a very powerful search engine, but the original concept is very much the same.

Being a Mac user, I have been using Apple’s Mail for a few years now. Mail.app has a standard a hybrid approach to e-mails, the standard folders are available, but since Spotlight became part of the OS, users are also able to create filters and organize e-mails in “dynamic folders“.

I have never been a fan of Opera’s approach and the same applies to Google’s approach and Apple’s dynamic folders.
I really like the threaded view, though. Both GMail and Mail.app offer this feature.
For my normal inbox and for a few folders I use the standard view with e-mails sorted by date descending.
For mailing lists I just love the threaded view. Here are two screenshots of the same mailing list:

And here is another screenshot of the same mailing list with a standard view:

When you read and contribute to a mailing list with a fair amount of traffic and different topics discussed, maybe with a lot of replies to the same topic, the threaded view lets you have e-mails organized very well and lets you follow a full thread even if other e-mails were sent for other threads in the same timeline.

While both Google’s and Apple’s e-mail clients are not exactly perfect when grouping e-mails, it still is very helpful and works smoothly in most cases. I have been using this feature for a couple of years now and liked it. I realized how I’m not used to it when last week I read my e-mails using a web client and found myself lost in the e-mails, losing track and having a hard time identifying the context as I was moving through the list of my e-mails, but were actually about different topics.
Going back to check old threads is also very easy when using this feature as you immediately get all the e-mails together.

Telefonica launches Opera browser

It must be clear to everyone that today I have more spare time. Meetings are done for today, all I need to do is go to eat and then I have a few hours free.

I took a chance to clear a bit of my backlog of things I wanted to post on the blog, then.

Via Marco Casario I found out the Telefónica Móviles has partenered with Opera to provide to their users a custom version of Opera and Opera Mini.
They are not the first ones and to me is another demonstration of the quality of the Opera browser and that a better user experience will lead more users on internet using their phone.

There’s a full Press release, of course: Telefónica selects Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to deliver the mobile Web.