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Opera Mini 5 hits Google Android phones

Browser has tabbed interface, but no multitouch

Opera has released a beta version of its Opera Mini 5 web browser for Google Android-based smartphones.

Just like the versions of the beta for other phones, Opera Mini 5 for Google Android beta compresses data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the phone to speed up browsing over low-bandwidth data connections, according to the Norwegian browser company.

Other features of the beta version include tabbed browsing and speed dial, a feature that provides direct access to favorites via thumbnail images on the start page. There is also a password manager that can be used to store passwords for email, social networking sites and online banking, Opera said.

The beta can be downloaded from Android Market or by going to m.opera.com/next with an Android-based smartphone.

The beta version of Opera Mini 5 was originally launched in September last year, and is already available on BlackBerry phones, phones running Windows Mobile 5 or 6, and phones that can run Java apps. Opera also demonstrated a version of the browser for the iPhone at Mobile World Congress in February.

The user interface has been designed for mobile phones with traditional keypads and smartphones with touchscreens. However, it lacks support for multitouch, the company said.

The company isn't ready to confirm a launch date for the final version of Opera Mobile 5, according to Katrin Jaakson, communications manager at Opera.

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