Category Archives: Opera Mini Tips and Tricks
When the Java ME version of the Opera Mini Browser is running on many touch screen phones, an unnecessary virtual keypad appears at the bottom of the screen (image above left). The keypad wastes space, looks ugly and isn't needed with touch aware apps like Opera Mini. The keypad is not part of Opera Mini. It's something your phone adds because it doesn't recognize that Opera Mini is optimized for touch
Here are several ways to get rid of the virtual keypad so your Opera Mini looks like the right hand image above.
I. By using the phone's menu
Some phones have a menu option for getting rid of the keypad. I've only seen it on Samsungs but it may be an option on other brands as well.
- Open the folder or menu where you launch Opera Mini. On my Samsung Wave it's called "Games and more".
- Look for and tap a button named "Options", "Menu" or something similar or has an icon that looks like a menu, stack of papers or three dots. On the Wave it's the middle button with the three dots in the left hand screenshot below.
- In the Options menu (image below, center) look for and tap a button labeled "Use virtual keypad"
- On the next screen tap the check mark next to Opera Mini (image below, right) to remove it and then tap the Save button. Now launch Opera Mini and the virtual keypad should be gone
If your phone doesn't have a menu option to remove the keypad continue reading to see if Opera Mini has a fix for your phone.
II. By using an official version of Mini customized for your phone to remove the virtual keypad.
If Opera recognizes and officially supports your phone it should deliver a modified version of Opera Mini that contains code telling your phone to remove the keypad. Opera can only recognize your phone if you download Mini from m.opera.com using the phone's built in browser. If you download Opera Mini from an unofficial source or downloaded it with your PC and copied to the phone using Bluetooth or a cable you have a generic version that's not optimised for your phone.
If you download Mini from m.opera.com with your phone's built-in browser and you still get the virtual keypad, let Opera know so they can fix it in a future release. File a bug report at mini.bugs.opera.com. Also visit m.opera.com/detect with your phone's built-in browser and fill in the form listing the phone make and model.
If you still have the virtual keypad after downloading from m.opera.com with your phone browser and you don't want to wait for Opera to get around to fixing it, which can take months, it's fairly easy to fix it yourself. Read on for instructions.
III. By modifying the Opera Mini jad file to remove the virtual keypad
You will need a PC, some patience and the ability to follow directions in order to modify Opera Mini. If you lack any of those or want someone else to do the work, skip to the end of this post for a link to an already modified version of Opera Mini.
Obtain an official copy of the Opera Mini jad file. You can download the unsigned versions of Opera Mini directly to your PC from www.opera.com/mobile/download/versions/
The trouble with unsigned apps is that on most phones you will get annoying pop-up messages asking you to allow Opera Mini to connect. On some phones you only get one pop-up when you first start Opera Mini but on others you get pop-ups every time you click a link which makes Opera Mini almost unusable. A few phones won't allow unsigned apps to connect at all.
Opera will only let you download the signed versions of Opera Mini using a mobile browser. So to download the signed jad file to a PC we have to fool the Opera web app into thinking we are using a mobile browser. The easiest way to do that is with the Firefox browser and the User Agent Switcher extension.
- Launch the Firefox browser
- Click the Tools menu and Add-on > Extensions. Search for "User Agent Switcher"
- Install the User Agent Switcher extension by chrispederick
- Restart Firefox
- Open the Tools Menu and choose "Default User Agent > Edit User Agents"
- Click the "New" button and Choose "New User Agent"
- Enter "Mobile User Agent" in the "Description" field
- In the User Agent field, enter you phone's built in browser's user agent. You can find it by visiting ua.yeswap.com with the phone browser which lets you email your browser's user agent and other headers to yourself.
- Blank out all the other fields, press the OK button to save.
- Go to the Tools Menu and choose "Default User Agent >"Mobile User Agent"
- Go to m.opera.com using the Firefox browser
- Click "Other Download Options"
- Click "Select Code-Signing Certificate" under "Options for Opera Mini 7.1:" (or under "Options for Opera Mini 4.5:" if you prefer that version)
- Click "All Certificates" (works on most phones. If it doesn't on yours try repeating this process with one of the other signed options)
- Click "Download Opera Mini 7.1 (or 4.5)" and save the file (named mini.jad) somewhere where you can find it later
- Open the downloaded mini.jad with a text editor or Windows Wordpad
- Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste in the following lines:
Upload the file to Dropbox.com or another file sharing service that is easy to use in your phone browser. Click here to get a free 2GB Dropbox account (by using this referral link I get an extra 250 MB of storage in my Dropbox which I thank you for).
Visit Dropbox with your phone browser and click the modified mini.jad link to download it on your phone.
If that didn't work or you don't have a PC or are just in a hurry, here's a link to my modified version of the signed (All Certificates) version of the Opera Mini 6.5 ,jad file:
Updated 7-Jun-2012: Here's a modified version of the new Opera Mini 7.0:
Updated 20-Sept-2012: If you get out of memory errors installing Opera Mini 7, here's the smaller but less capable Opera Mini 4.4.
Updated 26-Nov-2012: Here's a modified version of the new Opera Mini 7.1:
New! Updated 6-Aug-2013: Opera Mini 4.5 is a new release for phones with limited memory Here's a modified version without the virtual keypad
Click any of the above links in your phone browser to install Opera Mini 4.4, 4.5 or 7.1 with the virtual keypad disabled.
Updated 6-Aug-2013: added a modified Opera Mini 4.5 download, Revised the instructions on how to download signed Opera Mini jad files from Opera as the old method using the Opera PC browser no longer works,
Opera Mini updates are usually a good thing. They include bug fixes and often, new features. But for a few users, usually with old or obscure phones, the new version doesn't work as well as the old one or work at all. On the Opera Mini User forum there is a recurrent theme of users, trying a released version and insisting that one of older ones, was better.
There's a sticky post on the forum with links to some old versions but it's far from complete and doesn't include beta versions or signed ones.
I can understand Opera wanting users to be on the latest version, but when that version doesn't work it's nice to have the option to roll back to an older one. I've gathered up all the Opera Mini 5 versions I've been able to find and linked to them below.
These are all English language versions. Java phone users should try the JAD link first and if it doesn't work try the JAR.
If you get an expired certificate error installing one of the signed versions, try setting your phone's date back a year or two. Be sure to set the date back to the current one before trying to run Opera Mini to avoid getting a "Verification of server certificate" error.
The ZIP files are for use with BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
I don't have the other signed Java versions or OTA files for BlackBerrys. If and when I find them I will post them here. If any readers have copies of the missing versions and are willing to share them, please leave a comment.
Updated 5-Oct-2012: Originally published in October 2010, this post is still one of the most popular on WAP Review. Today I went through some old download directories and added over a dozen more old Opera Mini versions.
Updated 12-Jul-2013: Added PalmOS PRC version and Palm Java ME JVM
Son Of The Engadget Demobilizer - A New Bookmarklet To View Engadget's Desktop Version In Opera Mini
One of my favorite tech news sites, engadget.com, recently started forcing Opera Mini users to a new mobile version of the site that looks like it was designed for legacy dumb phone browsers (image, left).
I could live with the boring plain text on a white background, but not with the severely degraded and distorted images. But the worst part of the new design is the pagination, which breaks most articles into multiple tiny pages. Even on dumbphones, Opera Mini can load extremely large pages, so the pagination is completely unnecessary.
The same thing happened about a year ago with a different Engadget mobile version, but I was able to cobble together an Opera Mini bookmarklet that, when run on any Engadget mobile page, loaded the desktop version of the same page. That bookmarket doesn't work with the new mobile version of the site, but I was able to modify it a bit and to create one that does.
To use the new bookmarklet, copy the code below into a browser bookmark.
If you're using a browser that doesn't support copy/paste, like Opera Mini 4 or the Symbian browser, click here and follow the instructions on that page to install the bookmarket.
When you land on one of the paginated Engadget mobile pages, go to you bookmarks and click the bookmarklet and the desktop version of the same page will load.
Engadget is my favorite source of news about all sorts of tech including mobile devices, platforms and apps. I was a little worried when AOL acquired Engadget and many of my favorite writers left. But the new crew at Engadget is great, they're delivering lots of well written and well edited breaking news stories, reviews and great photos and videos of the latest gear.
I like Engadget's mobile site at m.engadget.com too. Well actually I like it in most mobile browsers but not in the one I use most often, Opera Mini.
The problem is that when Engadget Mobile sees Opera Mini it cranks pagination up to the max for some reason. Articles that Opera Mini could easily load in their entirety are broken up into multiple tiny ones - really tiny ones. A typical Engadget item that loads as a single page in the Android or iOS browser is seven pages in Mini. That really slows reading down as Mini has about 10 seconds of latency before it starts to load any page, even a small one. On a fast connection it takes Mini about 10 seconds to load each little page when it could load the whole thing as a single page in the same ten seconds!
An easy fix would be to use the desktop version on Engadget in Opera Mini. But you can't readily do that because there's no link to the desktop version when viewing the mobile one with Opera Mini. You can reach the Engadget desktop homepage in Opera Mini at www.engadget.com/?m=false. However, getting to the desktop version of an individual post from a mobile one that you landed on by following a deep link from Twitter or an RSS reader is difficult.
So I created a bookmarklet to fix that. To use it copy the code below and save as a browser bookmark:
Whenever you land on Engadget Mobile open the bookmark and you will be transported to the full version of the same content with no pagination. The bookmarklet has been tested in Opera Mini but it should work in most browsers that support bookmarklets including recent versions of Mobile Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Palm Blazer, Opera Mobile, the Android browser since Froyo and Symbian Webkit since S60 5th ed.
If you're using a browser that doesn't support copy/paste, like Opera Mini 4 or the Symbian browser, click here and follow the instructions on that page to add the bookmarket.
Hopefully Engadget/AOL's web wizards will fix their mobile site to stop unnecessarily splitting posts for Opera Mini users. In the meantime you can use the bookmarklet.
Update: a couple of weeks after I posted this, Engadget modifier their mobile site, when viewed in Opera Mini, to include a "Desktop" link. Clicking the link takes you to the desktop version of the mobile page you were on. This bookmarklet is no longer needed, in Opera Mini, at least.
Update: 20-Jul-2012 - Engadget has modified their multi-serving logic and this bookmarklet no longer works. For a one that does see: Son Of The Engadget Demobilizer - A New Bookmarklet To View Engadget's Desktop Version In Opera Mini