I’ve been on holiday for a week – so that was no internet for me unless I paid $$$ for a 15 minute session. Or was it?
It wasn’t at all. I have Opera Mini on my phone and most of the web, e-mails, social networking and news that I access on my laptop were there on my phone. Yippee! So I could check my gmail/hotmail, read my rss feeds, browse my favourite sites, tweet on twitter and check in with Facebook. Great!
I’ve noticed more and more that people are using their phones and mobile devices for some of their internet browsing. Companies like Vodafone or Telecom want you to use their portal to do this. It’s easy to see why. To get anywhere you have to pass their “homepage” complete with ads and downloads, which must be a real revenue earner for them. Coupled with the fact that you pay them for any data you use (basically if you’re connected to the internet via your phone you’re paying for data) they have little interest in optimising your phone web browsing for minimum data use. You don’t have to use their browser. Don’t click that Vodafone Live! button or little blue globe. Download and install Opera Mini on your phone instead!
First choose your download method. The recommended way is to got to mini.opera.com using your phone’s built in browser. Opera will detect your phone’s make and model and ensure you download the correct version. When it’s on your phone just install it. Different phones and operating system will vary in how you do this, you may get a series of permissions dialogues, but just go with the flow and follow it through.
Once installed Opera Mini will be sitting in your applications folder or similar location. Click/open it and you’re off. It’ll ask you to mash the phone keys a few time and accept a user agreement before it opens the startpage. The startpage is preloaded with bookmarks, you’ll soon replace these with your own. Here’s my startpage.
The default setting has most webpages opening as minimized images of the full page with an area that zooms in to view your selection. I apologise now for the news story, but that’s life.
If this works for you then you don’t need to make any changes. Personally I find the tiny page version too difficult to see. I changed my default view to mobile view like the image below.
It’s easy to do. Just follow these screenshots below, tick mobile view and press the left softkey to save.
That’s it. You’re all set to go. Like anything else you’ll learn by doing, so get to it. Visit your favourite sites, login to your webmail, check your rss feeds. Post any questions you have in the comments and I’ll help if I can or there’s the opera mini faqs page.
TWITTER and SLANDR
To tweet from your phone I recommend m.slandr.net. Just enter it into the address bar at the top of Opera Mini or google it. Log in with your twitter details and then save the page as a bookmark when you’re logged in. It’s pretty easy to use, though the icons can be difficult to see.
Have a play. Have fun and remember it’s cheaper than texting to twitter! $$$!