Opera Mobile 9.5 now introduces Opera Widgets to the mobile Internet experience, enabling one-click Web content access. This release marks the second Opera Mobile 9.5 beta for Windows Mobile and the first-ever beta for UIQ-based phones. A developer version of S60 Widget manager is also available within the Opera Widgets SDK.
T-Mobile has already embraced Opera Mobile with Widgets for their web n’walk initiative, as previously announced on September 18, 2008. Like T-Mobile, other operators can now incorporate Opera Widgets into their customer offering. This means that customer-selected Web content can be accessed from a list of icons on the home-screen. Widgets can also serve as a means of customer communication, as automatic notifications are now easier to instantly deliver to subscribers.
“Opera has built its second Opera Mobile 9.5 beta based on user-generated feedback following its first public release earlier this year,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “In addition to Opera Widgets, this new test version promises to be a smoother ride than the previous version, as we have improved page loading times and increased our focus on end-user productivity.”
Several Opera Widgets are now pre-installed in the Opera Mobile 9.5 beta builds. Additionally, Opera offers downloadable widgets at http://widgets.opera.com.
Opera always encourages more user-generated widgets and therefore recently updated its Opera Widget Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK will enable developers to quickly and easily create widgets using standards-based Web technology. The Opera Widgets SDK now includes two new features:
• Widget manager for on-device testing – Widget managers for S60, UIQ and Windows Mobile are included with in the SDK for testing widgets directly on the mobile phone.
New Opera X-Widget Challenge
Opera is launching the updated SDK with a developer competition called the “X-Widget Challenge”. Opera is offering $10.000 in cash prizes for the best cross-device widget submissions. Read more about the competition from http://my.opera.com/widgets.
“Opera has kept developer needs at the heart of this beta release,” said Håkon Wium Lie, Chief Technology Officer, Opera Software. “All great developers need great tools to work with. Opera is an industry leader in making the Web a developer-friendly place by constantly innovating within the confines of Web standards. We will continue to create with developers in mind, as we intend to continue to grow our developer toolkit with each consecutive release.”