Android users will see less of the video-buffering wheel, as the unique “video boost” feature arrives today in the Opera Mini mobile browser, available for free in Google Play. Opera said the release brings smoother video viewing and data savings to almost 120 million users on Opera Mini for Android, Opera’s biggest user base.
According to the company, Opera’s video boost technology reduces the size of video data, to lessen video loading time and combat buffering delays, plus extend the life of a mobile data plan.
“Stalled videos create frustration and waste time, and watching from a mobile or tablet can quickly chew through a data plan. Unstable or congested networks also cause a poor, choppy video viewing experience,” the company said in a statement.
Opera has been the first company to integrate video optimization into a web browser. The default web browsers on Android do not reduce the size of video data.
“Video boost is a vital feature for video fans or those on limited mobile networks, handsets or data plans. If you love to watch videos on your Android device, but hate getting surprises on your data bill, it’s time to switch browsers,” says Nuno Sitima, SVP, Head of Mobile Browsers at Opera.
Users demand better video
Mobile video consumption is growing globally, and video boost helps today’s content meet this demand. A 2015 study by Conviva showed that viewers have little patience for video interruptions: 75% of viewers abandon poor-quality video in four minutes or less, and 33% within 30 seconds.* Interactive Advertising Bureau research found that buffering/speed is among the top-three most important factors for mobile viewers on smartphones.**
Under the “O” menu in Opera Mini 15, simply tap the savings summary to change to high-savings mode. Below, tick the box beside video boost to switch on smoother viewing. The video boost feature also shows a count where users can keep track of how many videos have been optimized.
The latest version of Opera Mini for Android brings even more speed, savings and efficiency features:
In high-savings mode, Opera Mini will automatically turn off data compression when it detects Wi-Fi, to take full advantage of the high-quality internet connection. Crowded Wi-Fi? Simply turn data savings back on under the savings summary.
Opera Mini now lets you re-size images in the browser before you upload them to the web. Re-scaling an image – say, from 2240×1680 to 800×600 pixels – reduces the file size, so that you can save data and increase the success rate for uploads on poor networks.
With the new thumbscroller feature, scroll down to bring up a side scroll bar on the screen, for easier navigation on long articles and webpages.