Opera Mobile 9.7b1 Beta Not Ready for Prime Time: Behaves Like an Alpha Release

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In the old days Beta release level apps were usually only made available to serious beta testers willing to put up with flaky crash-prone software. Google’s endless and generally stable beta releases have changed our expectation over the years. Today’s beta release is often closer to what we used to expect from a 1.0 release. So, when a firm like Opera announces…

Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is ready to rev up your phone

…I accept their word at face value that it is a public beta that is generally stable and near production ready. But, that’s not what I found. For example, if you are wondering why I don’t have my normal clean Windows Mobile screenshots taken using Ilium’s free Screen Capture, it is because Opera 9.7b1 appears to have forced it to close every time I launched Opera after starting up Screen Capture on a Windows Mobile smartphone with no other apps launched.

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Opera Mobile 9.7b1 also seems to have a problem figuring out if it is a mobile browser or a desktop browser. If you look at the first screen, you’ll notice that this site’s generally mobile friendly web rendering extends past the physical borders of the screen instead of its normal mobile web friendly look.

Then, when I tried to look at CNET’s non-mobile-friendly News.com site, Opera Mobile 9.7b1 simply ran out of memory. This happened even though the browser was the only app launched and running on my Windows Mobile smartphone.

This is really too bad since Opera Mobile 9.7b1 seems to do a much better job of presenting anti-aliased text than, say, Skyfire. I was really looking forward to testing it a bit more. Instead, it was uninstalled and I’ll wait for another beta release before trying it again.