Ever since I discovered Opera Mini, I had installed it on my first mobile (K300i) and now the latest Opera Mini 5 beta is present on my Nokia E51. Few months ago a new browser came up for S60 3rd Edition Mobiles named Skyfire. The main selling point of this browser was almost full support for javascript and Adobe Flash with near desktop experience; which enabled us to watch YouTube videos on the mobile!

I had been using both browsers side by side for a few months now & came to feel that Opera Mini is a lot better for daily use and Skyfire is better for those one off toughie websites that must work with javascript and other stuff enabled.

Here’s an example: Recently, I started accessing my twitter account through Dabr from Opera Mini. The mobile UI rocks and zoom in and zoom out is instant. It happens in the client side. Opera Mini has an intelligent mix of client side and server side operations, whereas, all operations from Skyfire require an active internet connection. At best, internet access from mobiles through GPRS still remains patchy & hence, Skyfire should have that intelligent mix of operations and where possible, operations should be done at the client rather than server.

Opera desktop’s goodness of Speed Dial has arrived on Opera Mini 5. It’s awesome and saves you tons of clickety-clicks, which are irritating on a mobile. The whole menu system has been completely revamped. UI is smooth and fast (which is a downside with Skyfire)!

The best feature of Opera Mini of all is tabbed browsing. That blows away any other mobile browser on the planet. Being fast and loading heavy pages on separate tabs is a pretty awesome thing. By long pressing on a link, you can open them in new tabs inside Opera Mini. Hence, the Dabr + Opera Mini seems to beat any other twitter competition. Saved pages are really saved pages. They can be accessed even when there’s no connectivity.

Recently we had to book tickets to watch a movie at Mayajaal and Skyfire displayed the website amazingly well. Opera Mini suffered there. Similarly, Opera Mini rocks in opening popup windows (when clicked explicitly), whereas Skyfire fails. All in all, if you are going on a long journey with conservative power, Opera Mini is the way to go. Or if you want near desktop experience on your mobile for all websites, then Skyfire is the way to go.

Skyfire Gripes:

  1. No tabbed browsing.
  2. No landscape view of web pages and videos.
  3. Phone heats up after about 15 minutes of usage. Doesn’t ever happen with Opera Mini.
  4. Compared to Opera Mini, it is very heavy on battery.
  5. No option to logout from your Skyfire account. You have to manually delete the “Preferences” file to logout.
  6. The assumption that an active internet connection is always available.
  7. Proxy server support and proxy authentication i.e. HTTP code 407. I have been asking this for so long that I’m beginning to feel that this feature won’t come at all.

Opera Mini Gripes:

  1. No flash support.
  2. Javascript should be supported better.
  3. Zoom in to images is dismal. I hope this issue will be corrected when Opera Mini 5 comes out beta.
  4. This browser also doesn’t have support for proxy servers and proxy authentication.

What are your opinions on these two browsers? What browser are you using on your mobile phone?

School Prank

October 16th, 2009

As I was reading through Rohit‘s post on how he missed school, I recollected one of the pranks that a few of us did back in school.

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The Maths staff was droning on and on about some crazy analytical geometry stuff that flew over my head. Lunch bell was supposed to ring in 5 minutes and I was looking at my wrist watch every 10 seconds to see if those nerve-wracking 5 minutes were over! Each second passed painfully as a minute. Stomach was rumbling as well & in all restlessness, we came up with a prank to execute it during lunch.

Benches and desks in my school were lengthy. Up to 4 people would be able to sit with their bags on them. Oh! and we would start having those border problems of whose bag can come up to which place on the bench… But that’s for another post.

As soon as the lunch bell rang, we dashed out even before the teacher had left and brought in lunch :) . The teacher was slightly shocked but left the class nevertheless, glaring at us. We devoured our lunch quickly. As per the prank’s plot:

  1. We would punch lot of tiny holes on the bench using our compass and dividers.
  2. We would then pour tiny amounts of water on them and let it soak. When wood gets soaked for sometime, its topmost layer comes off and leaves a black substance.
  3. Students would be called to sit at the place and answer a few questions and then made to go off.

A bubbly girl named M was about to finish her lunch. Did I say we were in white uniform that day? We called M, made her sit on the bench with soaked wood. With a pen and paper, it was like we were conducting an interview… asked her some silly questions and told her to go to the black board and write as, “The interview was good.” which she did. Giggles were starting to spread around soon & few more guys and girls started to appear to “take part” in the interview. One by one, their bums became black and wet with all the water we had poured on the bench and before long, lot of their pants had soiled 😀

The bell rang & as a teacher entered in, she noticed one guy’s pant being soiled. She stared at us & sent us out immediately because we were giggling by that time.

….

Those were fun times man! It was a different kind of fun than we are having now. But fun… it sure is! Share your pranks in the comments :)