The latest version of the popular mobile browser Opera Mini is now available for the T-Mobile G1, the first phone built on Google’s Android operating system. The Android availability is part of the improvements in Opera Mini 4.2, which leaves testing mode tomorrow.
Opera Mini is the first alternative G1 users have to the phone’s built-in browser, which is based on WebKit. Matthew Miller of ZDNet spotted Mini in the Android Market this morning, and reports that it provides “very fast” internet access, and has the added benefit of synchronizing Opera bookmarks across multiple devices. It’s also just nice to have multiple browsers to choose from, similar to the freedom of choice you have on your desktop or laptop computer. If Opera Mini takes off among Android users, that would be a rebuke to Apple, which rejected the browser as a competitor to Safari on the iPhone. (I asked Opera if there are any plans to bring its higher-end Opera Mobile browser to the Android, but the company isn’t commenting.)
The latest version of Mini has been in public testing for about two weeks, and other new features include the ability to customize the browser with new skins, additional languages (including Armenian, Bengali and Urdu), improved video, and note syncing via Opera Link. When 4.2 was announced, the update didn’t seem terribly exciting, but the just-revealed Android support changes things.
With more than 20 million users worldwide, Opera says Mini it’s the world’s most popular mobile web browser.