Opera Mini for iOS gets a surprise overhaul loaded with cool new features

Opera Mini 8.0 for iOS (teaser 001)

For the first time since 2012, the Opera browser by Norway-based Opera Software has received a substantial update cleaning up the UI dramatically.

In a nutshell, Opera has dropped the dark theme in favor of a light appearance. I’m liking it a lot: not only is the new look a lot easier on the eyes, navigating and enjoying web content is now more pleasurable than ever before.

In addition to the updated design, the new Opera Mini version 8.0 brings out several new features, including a new data compression mode, user interface themes to customize the browser’s look, a new way to discover what’s trending and a built-in QR code reader…

According to the company, Opera Mini’s popular compression technology will help you save a ton of data. There are two modes of compression to choose from: the classic Opera Mini mode and Opera Turbo mode.

The former helps you achieve up to 90 percent data savings while the latter “provides a full web experience while still saving you up to 50 percent data.

Data savings are realized by hosting webpage assets like images, HTML code and more on Opera’s servers in the heavily compressed form. Data consumption is a major concern when on a metered plan so enable the feature within in-app Settings > Data Savings (select Opera Mini, Opera Turbo or Savings Off).

Here, check out the new Opera look in this video.

Note that enabling compression kills interactivity and certain webpage capabilities. The way it works, server-side compression basically delivers the heavily compressed bitmap previews of webpages rather than the actual webpage code to render directly on the device. By the way, Google back in January added a similar data-compression feature to Chrome for iOS.

Key highlights include:

  • Get up to 90% data savings. Opera Mini’s data-savings modes are perfect for getting fast-loading pages on slow connections. Take Opera Mini with you when you travel and save money by using less mobile data.
  • Explore new things. Find the best, new articles from your fields of interest with the Discover feature. You’ll never be bored again.
  • Look your best. Opera Mini has a completely new look and you can choose between different themes.
  • Make QR codes useful again. QR codes finally make sense when they can be read inside the browser. Ditch your QR-code app; it probably doesn’t handle videos or music anyway.

Download Opera Mini free of charge from the App Store.

The iPhone and iPad app requires iOS 7.0 or later.