Opera launches social-minded Mini Next mobile browser

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BARCELONA, Spain--Opera Software unveiled its Opera Mini Next mobile browser here at Mobile World Congress 2012, offering consumers a preview of new features coming in the firm's signature Opera Mini.

Chief among the new additions: Facebook and Twitter social integration added directly to Opera Mini Next's first screen. Mini Next for feature phones also introduces the Smart Page, which complements Opera's existing Speed Dial shortcuts to enable more efficient access to social networks, news and related content. For Android smartphone users, Opera Mini Next brings a smoother browsing experience, hardware acceleration and a revamped Speed Dial screen with an unlimited number of shortcuts to favorite websites. 

All Opera Mini Next browsers install alongside the regular Opera Mini browser. A white Opera icon distinguishes the Next preview version, as opposed to the red icon that indicates the stable version.

Opera Software also launched the final version of its Opera Mobile 12 browser for the Android and Symbian platforms. Opera Mobile 12 for Android includes support for the WebGL software library, making it easier for developers to build and distribute cross-platform games. The browser also touts Ragnarök, Opera's HTML5 parser support, translating to better web apps and increased compatibility with websites. Opera Mobile 12 additionally brings support for camera use in the browser.

Opera Mini and Opera Mobile together exceed 160 million monthly active users worldwide, yielding more than 100 billion page views and consuming more than 16 Petabytes of mobile data services each month.

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