How to Use Opera Mini for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

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Opera Mini for iOS: Overview

Opera Mini for iOS
Scott Orgera

This tutorial was last updated on October 28, 2015 and is only intended for users running the Opera Mini browser on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices.

Opera Mini for iOS includes many of the features that we've come to expect from mobile browsers at this point, some of them tailored to mimic the Opera desktop experience. It's in the unique components, many focused on slower networks or limited data plans, where this portable browser really shines.

Armed with multiple compression modes aimed at speeding up your page loads and minimizing your data usage, Opera Mini makes it easy to control how fast Web pages are rendered as well as their direct effect on your data plan.

Opera claims that, in its most restrictive compression mode, the browser can save your browsing data usage by up to 90%.

Accompanying these thrifty techniques is a video compression feature, which takes place in the cloud as the clip is being rendered on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. This helps reduce buffering and other playback hiccups while once again cutting back on the amount of data required.

Another practical element of Opera Mini is Night Mode, which dims your device's screen and is ideal for surfing the Web in the dark, in particular, late-night browsing in bed where blue light is scaled back in an effort to reduce eye strain and help your mind and body prepare for sleep.

In addition to the above components, Opera Mini adds a lot to the iOS browsing experience through features like Discover, Speed Dial and private tabs. This tutorial walks you through the ins and outs of the browser for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users.

If you haven't installed it yet, Opera Mini is available free of charge via the App Store. Once you're ready to get started, launch the browser by tapping on its Home Screen icon.

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Data Savings

Opera Mini data savings
Scott Orgera

This tutorial was last updated on October 28, 2015 and is only intended for users running the Opera Mini browser on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices.

As mentioned in the previous step of this tutorial, Opera Mini utilizes server-side compression technology to enhance load times and, perhaps most importantly, save on the data used while browsing the Web. Whether you're on a plan that forces you to count bits and bytes or just find yourself connected to a slow network, these frugal data delivery methods can prove to be invaluable.

Savings Enabled

By default, Opera Mini is configured to conserve on data as described above. To see the amount of data that you've saved you need to tap Opera's menu button, represented by the red 'O' icon and located at the bottom of the browser window. Opera Mini's pop-up menu will now appear, displaying the following information in its top section.

  • Percentage of data saved
  • Which data savings mode is enabled (default is Opera Mini)
  • Actual data saved, represented in KB/MB/GB

Change Data Savings Mode

There are three distinct modes that can be enabled, each significantly different in terms of data compression and other speed and savings-related functionality. To switch to a different data savings mode, first tap the Savings Enabled section. The screen shown in the example image above should now be visible, offering the following modes.

  • Opera Mini: The default selection, Opera Mini mode compresses images, text and entire Web pages in an effort to deliver the requested content in a timely fashion even on the slowest networks. While many sites may not look or feel exactly as they would under ideal conditions, at the high end of the data usage spectrum you can save up to 90% with this mode enabled.
  • Opera Turbo: Not as powerful as Opera Mini in terms of compression, this mode condenses images and text based on several factors including your distance from the nearest signal tower as well as the current load on your network being generated by other users. Opera Turbo mode will not, however, make any modifications to the Web pages themselves, resulting in data savings up to 50% but not any noticeable alterations to the overall browsing experience.
  • Off: When active, all data compression and savings-related features are disabled. This is the recommended mode if you have an unlimited data plan and a consistently fast network connection.

Reset Data Savings Statistics

To reset the accumulated data savings metrics provided on the previous screen at any time, such as at the beginning of a new month for your data plan, select this option.

Advanced Settings

The advanced settings available to you vary based on which data savings mode is currently active. They are as follows.

  • Zoom Level (available only in Opera Mini mode): Instructs the browser to automatically enlarge the display of all pages up to 200%, per a user-defined scale.
  • Layout (available only in Opera Mini mode): Contains two options, both accompanied by an on/off button and disabled by default. The first, Single Column View, renders Web pages to fit the width of your device's screen, avoiding the need for any horizontal scrolling. The second, Text Wrap, ensures that most website text is displayed in a way that it fits your screen, also eliminating the need for a scroll bar.
  • Image Quality (available in Opera Mini and Opera Turbo mode): This setting gives you option to disable images from loading altogether within the browser, as well as set their quality to Low, Medium or High (default setting).
  • Video Boost (available only in Opera Turbo mode): Enabled by default, causes Opera to compress video clips on their servers prior to sending them to your device. Degradation of quality is sometimes noticeable, but on slower networks Video Boost does a nice job of reducing buffering and other playback problems.

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Synchronization, General and Advanced Settings

Opera Mini settings
Scott Orgera

This tutorial was last updated on October 28, 2015 and is only intended for users running the Opera Mini browser on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices.

Opera Mini's Settings interface allows you to tweak the browser's behavior in a number of different ways. To access the Settings page first tap Opera Mini's menu button, represented by the red 'O' icon and located at the bottom of the browser window. When the pop-up menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.

Synchronization

If you also use Opera on other devices including a Mac or PC then this feature allows you to synchronize your Bookmarks across each instance of the browser, ensuring that your favorite websites are just a tap of the finger away.

In order for Bookmarks syncing to take place, you need to sign in with your Opera Sync account. If you do not have one yet, tap the Create Account option.

General Settings

Opera Mini's General settings include the following.

  • Night Mode: Disabled by default, Night Mode is perfect for browsing the Web in a dark setting and minimizing strain on your tired eyes. It can be toggled via its on/off button found in the main Opera menu.
  • Change Theme: With over a dozen different designs to choose from which change the look and feel of your browser interface, this setting lets you switch themes as often as you like.
  • New Tabs: This setting allows you to determine whether new tabs open in the background, which is the default behavior, or in the foreground of your browser window.
  • Clear...: Selecting this setting provides the ability to delete browsing history, cache, cookies, and/or saved passwords from your device's hard drive.

Advanced Settings

Opera Mini's Advanced settings include the following.

  • User Agent: This setting offers two options, Mobile and Desktop, and dictates the way websites are rendered in your Opera Mini browser. While most websites will default to their mobile version once your iOS browser is detected, changing this setting will force the desktop version of the active page to be displayed.
  • Accept Cookies: Small text files which can contain user-specific preferences, login information and other data used to create a custom browsing experience, cookies pushed by websites are allowed by default within Opera Mini. However, this setting allows you to reject all cookies from being stored on your device.
  • Block Pop-ups: Opera Mini's integrated pop-up blocker is disabled by default, but can be quickly activated via the on/off button that accompanies this setting.