I’m here in Oslo, Norway, attending Opera Software‘s global press day, and the company’s just made a number of announcements on stage – unfortunately while I wasn’t able to enjoy a second of internet connectivity.
Now that things have cleared up on that front, here are some of the most important things Opera’s executive team announced:
Opera Mobile for Android
The product will be free of charge and available in beta sometime next month.
Opera 11 with add-ons
Finally, Opera’s desktop browser will get the ability to be customized by users via extensions. No word on availability but you should be able to download it before the end of the year.
Hardware acceleration and pinch-to-zoom for Opera’s mobile browsers
Both Opera Mini and Opera Mobile users will soon be able to download a more polished version that – finally – includes pinch-to-zoom functionality, which makes for a much smoother browsing experience any way you look at it.
Also on the roadmap: hardware acceleration for smooth panning and zooming (which will be useful for a number of user interface experiences, as well as more robust gameplay etc.)
Update: in a later Q&A session, Opera’s chief development officer said that the latter capabilities will be available for the Android-compatible versions. He did mention that all phones that support multi-touch (including the iPhone) will at some point gain pinch-to-zoom functionalities.