Opera is becoming a major player in the mobile browsing market it seems with over 100 million mobile users are using it monthly on their phones. That means you need to make sure your content works with it. It works with it right? Oddly, or not so considering Safari’s features, the number one platform for the browser in the US is the iPhone, go figure.

According to the numbers issued today in Opera’s State of the Mobile Web report, 90.4 million people now use Opera Mini every month and approximately 15 million people use Opera Mobile each month. In all, 105 million people use Opera on their phones.

That is a rather large audience for an opera, I wonder if it’s Don Giovanni…

“Experts all have some date when they claim the mobile Web will overtake the PC web — we’re watching that transition now,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder of Opera Software. “… we believe access to the Web is a universal right, and no device is more universal than a mobile phone…”

Hear! Hear!

100 million opera users

The Opera Mini browser saw significant increases in all three categories of growth in January 2011: unique users, pages viewed and data consumed. In all, 90.3 million people used the Opera Mini browser in January, 52.3 billion pages were served and 7.4 petabytes of operator data were compressed for Opera Mini users.

Snapshot: United States

  • Page-view growth since January 2010: 79.1 %
  • Unique-user growth since January 2010: 20.6 %
  • Data transfer growth since January 2010: 79.6 %
  • Page views per user: 438
  • Data transferred per user (MB): 10
  • Data transferred per page view (KB): 23

Top 10 sites in the United States (unique users)

  1. google.com
  2. facebook.com
  3. youtube.com
  4. wikipedia.org
  5. yahoo.com
  6. my.opera.com
  7. accuweather.com
  8. twitter.com (9)
  9. espn.go.com (back on the list)
  10. myspace.com (back on the list)

Top handsets for January 2011

  1. Apple iPhone
  2. LG VM265 “Rumor2”
  3. BlackBerry 8520 “Curve”
  4. BlackBerry 9700 “Bold”
  5. LG VM510 “Rumor Touch”
  6. BlackBerry 8330 “Curve”
  7. BlackBerry 8900 “Curve”
  8. BlackBerry 8530 “Curve”
  9. Samsung SPH-M810 “Instinct S30”
  10. BlackBerry 9630 “Tour”

Opera Mini on iPhone

Since the iPhone was the leading platform in the US and it’s a well-documented fact that I only have an old first generation iPhone (if you’re looking to recycle a 3GS, I might be interested) I thought I would load up Opera Mini 1.5 and check it out. Did you know that it has tabbed browsing? How about speed dial, copy/paste, password saving (yes!) and syncing with your PC? That’s some nifty stuff there.

Sadly, no Flash video player support on the platform. That would have been asking too much, right? It does have a pretty sleek interface so I can why 100 million people use it. In fact, I’m replacing Safari with it for web browsing on my iPhone. YouTube has a pretty cool interface in the browser as well.

Tips for Content Publishers and Developers

You didn’t think I was just being an Opera fanboy did you? You did? Screw you pal.

Seriously, the whole point of this was to make sure that you are informed about the mobile viewing audience. To that end I’ve compiled a quick list of things that will help you not only get your content to the mobile masses using the browser but also make sure it looks good when you do it.

Now Opera Mini can’t show video itself, but on any good phone it should be able to hook into the media player and be able to show the video that way. I couldn’t get it to load up the iPhone media player. Then again, mine is hacked six ways to Sunday, my YouTube app can’t even connect to YouTube and all in all it’s a bit wonky. Hence why I need a newer one. Even my Safari refuses to play YouTube videos. Damn Apple! Probably why you feel to Netflix in the customer loyalty survey this year.

Now I do have a stack of mobile phones here in the office from reviews and for game review purposes. So I fired up the Nokia N97 Mini which also has Opera Mini on it. That worked fine. I was able to click a YouTube link and it opened in RealPlayer (surprisingly) and closing that then takes you right back to the browser.

So while you don’t really need to worry so much about the video itself, you do need to worry about how your site and content appear. Here are the tools to help you with that.

Opera Mobile emulator

The desktop version of Opera’s smart phone browser.

The Opera Mobile emulator renders pages as close as you can get to how it would look on a real phone. It can be paired with Opera Dragonfly for an effective testing environment before taking it to the physical phone.

Opera Dragonfly

The premier debugging environment for Opera Presto-based browsers. Opera Dragonfly is available directly from the Opera browser, no extra download required.

Opera Dragonfly contains a full suite of tools including DOM, CSS and Network Inspectors, a JavaScript Debugger, Command Line and Error Console.

Opera HTML5 Support

ItemDesktop 11.00Devices SDK 2.8.0Mobile 10.1 (Android)Mobile 10.1 (S60, Maemo)Mobile 10 (general)Mini
Web formsYesYesPartialPartialPartialNo
input attributeYesYesYesYesYesPartial
input typeYesYesYesYesYesPartial


Audio and Video:

  • Opera on Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD supports WebM (VP8+Vorbis), Ogg (Theora+Vorbis), and WAVE (PCM).
  • Opera Devices SDK 2.8.0 will provide an API for HW support of HTML5 <audio>/<video>.

Input Attribute:

  • Opera supports autocomplete, autofocus, list, maxlength, pattern, readonly, required, size, max, min, step, file,
    accept<, and checked.
  • Opera does not support multiple andplaceholder.
  • For Opera Mini, input type support is limited to checkbox, radiobutton, file, password, and text.

Input type:

  • Opera supports text, url, email, password, datetime, date, month, week, time, datetimelocal, number, range, checkbox,
    radio button, and file.
  • Opera does not support color, search, and tel.
  • For Opera Mini, input type support is limited to and text.

Here’s a link to the Opera Developer area which is jam-packed full of technical stuff you might need: http://dev.opera.com/