Opera Software has rolled out a minor update that introduces a few new features to its mobile browsers. Besides general optimizations such as improved network performance and lower memory usage, Opera Mini 6.5 and Opera Mobile 11.5 have received enhanced bookmarking functionality with a small star in the address field that lets you quickly save a link to your bookmarks to Speed Dial.
Potentially more useful than that, Opera has also added a built-in data counter. Found in the "Help" menu, the addition lets you monitor your data consumption, which could prove particularly handy with all the wireless carriers clamping down on bandwidth levels. The data counter seems like it'd jibe pretty well with Opera Mini's Turbo functionality, which is easily one of its most attractive features.
Opera Turbo compresses web data by up to 90% before sending it to your phone. When Opera Mini first launched on iOS last April, the company released a video showing how its mobile browser could load pages up to five times faster than Safari. Along with snappier loads, the compression technology could save you a few bucks on your phone bill if you browse a lot with your smartphone.
Opera Turbo's functionality represents the core difference between the company's two mobile browsers. Opera Mini is forced to use the compression engine, while Opera Mobile can disable it and offers an experience that better resembles the desktop browser. Nonetheless, Opera plans to simplify its offerings in the near future by merging both applications (iOS users are limited to Opera Mini).
The update coincides with Net Applications' latest mobile browser standings. In October, Opera Mini ranked third in worldwide usage with 13.12% of the market, while Opera Mobile had 0.49%. Safari's 62.17% slice was larger than all its rivals combined, while the Android Browser held a humble second place standing with an 18.65% share. Symbian and BlackBerry took fourth and fifth place.