I am really impressed with what Opera has managed to do with what they proudly claim “the next generation of mobile browsing” in the form of Opera Mini 5 Beta. It is as good a browser as I have never before used on a mobile device. Any words that I could concoct to describe how great it is won’t by any stretch of one’s imagination do justice to the product.
I am using it exclusively on my Nokia E61 mobile phone. The E61 features a QWERTY keyboard with a limited set of special characters available on top of the alphabets as function keys. These include characters such as hyphen, exclamation mark, double and single quotes, parenthesis, etc, among others. However, these are not all of the commonly used special characters, and in order to get to a full list, a “chr” key is provided on the keyboard, pressing which brings up a character map.
While Opera Mini 5 Beta is still fairly robust and stable for a beta software, there is one issue I’ve found that I feel has a rather inconspicuous solution. On the keyboard of E61, the rather common underscore character is not available as a function key. In order to use that character, you have to get to the character map, and select it from there. The underscore character becomes even more common on the web, where you may tend to have it as part of usernames, passwords, or email addresses, in particular. I do. And here’s where Opera Mini 5 Beta gets a trifle quirky: If you’re editing any text box within the browser, you cannot access the character map, not through the “chr” key, not through any other key or combination thereof. When I initially bumped into this quirk, I was both sorely disappointed and pissed. I couldn’t log in to any of the websites where I had a username or email address with an underscore in it. And for a while, it kept me apprehensive about using Opera Mini 5 Beta frequently.
However, after toying around in Opera’s settings, I was able to finally find a workaround. Inside “Advanced” options inside “Settings” menu for the browser, there is an option, turned off by default, for “fullscreen edit”. Once enabled, you can edit all text boxes in a native, Symbian-esque text editor, where the character map is easily available via a press of a key.