“POWER USER” HIDDEN MENU ON OPERA-MINI

Opera mini is a full-web mobile browser that works on almost all phones and quite configurable. By using the built in “Settings” menu (top image) you can:

  1. Set the default font size.
  2.  Change image quality or turn off images entirely to manage memory and bandwidth use.
  3. Toggle fit-to-width “mobile view”.
  4. Switch the default view between portrait and landscape.
  5. Disable fancy sliding screen transitions which can be slow on some phones.
  6. Change the default skin.
  7. Toggle full-screen mode.
  8.  Choose whether pages should open zoomed out or zoomed when the browser is in desktop mode.
  9.  Turn off auto-completion of URL entries.  I turned off these settings because I find the auto completion more trouble than it’s worth. I can enter URLs more quickly using the phone’s default input handler which lets me easily switch between abc, T9, symbols and numbers.
  10. Switch the clock display between 12 and 24 hour modes.

Do you know that there is another undocumented “Power User” settings menu hidden in Opera Mini?  To access it enter the URL config: (without the www) in the Opera Mini’s address bar and select “OK” or “Go To“.  A screen similar to the screen shot below should appear.

“Power User” Settings include:

  • Large placeholders for images:  (Default settings: Yes). If you have images turned off or Opera Mini doesn’t have enough memory to load all the images on large pages it will show colored boxes which by default have the same dimensions as the original images.  Choosing No is supposed to make Opera Mini use smaller boxes which I think I’d prefer. Unfortunately this option doesn’t seem to work, I still get the large boxes with it set No.

NOTE: I’d really wish Opera Mini would follow web standards and display the image’s Alt Text when can’t display an image.

  •  Fit text to screen: (Default settings: Yes). In desktop mode, Opera Mini reflow text columns so they fit the screen’s width for easy reading.  To me, this is generally a good thing but it can make parts of pages look ugly and cause overlapping text, especially in tabbed menus.  Changing this setting to “No” will cause the page to be rendered just like it would be in a desktop browser.  While this makes the page prettier, it also means you have to scroll back and forth horizontally on every line to read text (which is stressful). I tried once and quickly set it back to the default!
  • Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts: (Default settings: No). Opera mini normally uses your phone’s built in fonts which generally have characters for only a handful of languages.  If you try to view a Chinese webpage with a phone that doesn’t have Chinese fonts the only thing you will see are bunch of squares in the place of characters. Setting this option causes Opera to render the text of any language your phone doesn’t support as an image of the the text. This will make the page load more slowly but at least you will be able to read it.  Apparently quite a few languages are supported by this feature. I haven’t been able to find a list but users have reported that they were able to view Hebrew, Igbo, Arabic, Japanese, Yoruba, Chinese, Korean, Hausa and Bengali pages using this feature.
  • Loading Timeout: (default settings: 30). This one is my favorite Power User setting.  It specifies how many seconds the Opera Mini server should wait for a 3rd party web server to respond before giving up and displaying a timeout message. There are some slow sites on the web and 30 seconds is just too short to load the site.  Before this error was added I’d often get a timeout on filehippo.com or if I asked Bloglines to show all the posts in my subscribed feeds for the last 24 hours. So i set the timout to the maximum allowed, which is “3600 seconds” and now I never see timeouts again.  If a site is really down or I get tired of waiting, I just press the “right softkey” which is labeled “STOP” to make Opera mini give up. Pressing STOP works fine on my phones although it can cause lockups on Palm OS devices.  If you have one of those you might be better off setting the timeout to around 60 or 120.
  • Show feedindex: (default settings: Yes). The default causes Opera Mini to show an RSS feed icon at the top on any page that has a feed.  Clicking the icon adds the feed to Opera Mini’s built in feed reader. I don’t use the Opera Mini reader because it doesn’t synchronize with anything and seems to lose my subscribed feeds with every server upgrade.  If you are serious about feeds you will want to use Google Reader as your feed reader in Opera Mini. Seriously, I like seeing the feed icon, because it tells me when a site has a feed that I can add to Google Reader using a bookmarklet.
  • Keep styling in RSS feeds: (default settings: No). As I mentioned earlier, I don’t use Opera Mini’s built in feed reader but I’d think changing this to “Yes” because it would improve the appearance and formatting of feeds in Opera Mini. It seems strange that its default is No.
  • Fold linklists: (default settings: Yes). When Opera Mini is in mobile view it will replace long lists of links with a plus sign graphic.  Clicking the plus sign will expand the list.  The intention is to make large repetitive menus less intrusive.  I set this to “No” because it tends to collapse things I want to see like news headlines or the list of unread feeds in Google Reader.
  • Phonenumber detection: (default settings: Yes). Opera Mini tries to detect plain text phone numbers in web pages and turns them to “click to call links”.  When this feature first came out is was buggy and tended to treat “1 2 3 4”  page menus on web forums etc. as phone numbers so that clicking them tried to dial 1234 instead of loading the next page.  That bug has been fixed and I don’t see any reason to disable the very useful phone number detection feature.
  • Minimum phone number length: (Default settings: 9). Numbers less than this length will never be detected as phone numbers. Nigeria phone numbers are 12 digits while the US is 10 so you could set it to which ever, although leaving at nine seems to work fine.

Remarks: While most of the Power User settings are of limited use I’m really happy about the ability to increase the Loading Timeout and to turn off linklist folding.  The ability to use server side bitmaps to display character sets that the phone doesn’t support is another great feature.  I’m glad the Power User Settings are there although I think Opera should make them easier to find. or what do you think?

3 thoughts on ““POWER USER” HIDDEN MENU ON OPERA-MINI”

  1. Hey i am having problem with opera..
    My text word are quite distant from each other that is “hi how are you” appears to me as ” hi how are you ” it looks very crapy and irkfull help me i am using samsung wave 2 (s8530)

    Reply

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