The headline above is going to confuse a lot of you without some backstory, so here’s what you should know: Opera has been making web browsers for as long as we can remember. They’ve always used their own browsing engines, and in 2003 they launched “Presto”. It’s an engine that’s served them well, but today’s world is dominated by WebKit. WebKit is the name of the open source rendering engine that Apple uses for Safari, that Google uses for Chrome, that Nokia used over half a decade ago in Symbian, and what RIM’s using in the latest version of their BlackBerry platform.
In other words, if you’re not using WebKit, you’re just plain weird.
Last month, about a week or two before Mobile World Congress, Opera said that they’re going to switch to WebKit and throw Presto out the window. The internet got pissed, saying that we need competition to exist, and blah, blah, blah. We don’t know why people would be so upset with the idea of a company as talented as Opera contributing to an open source project that benefits everyone.
Anyway, all that brings us to today’s news. Today Opera published a beta version of their web browser for Android. You can grab it from the Google Play Store right now. It looks different, it has an improved “Speed Dial”, which is Opera’s version of homepage bookmarks, and there are a ton of other small tweaks in there as well.
Should you check it out? Absolutely, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you decided to go back to Chrome, or Dolphin, or whatever you prefer. We’ll definitly take Opera’s browser a bit more seriously once it’s out of beta, but we know some of you like to live on the bleeding edge.