It's time to sing the praises of Opera. Finally! The Android version of Opera has a feature that makes the web browser a worthy contender for your Android device. It allows you to easily create home screen launchers for websites, so that your most-used sites are just a tap away.
Of course, there are other features that make this browser a worthy contender. Opera actually has some unique options available, but it's this newest feature that truly raised my eyebrows. Why? Let's face it. Most mobile browsers offer very clunky, less-than-efficient bookmark tools. That means any browser that could come up with a faster way to access the pages you most often visit should turns heads... and Opera has done just that.
Let's take a look at how this works. First, of course, we must install Opera on our Android device.
Installing Opera is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your device
- Search for Opera (or tap here)
- Locate and tap the entry by Opera Communications
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Finally, tap the Opera launcher either on your home screen or app drawer and walk through the simple welcome screens.
Adding launchers for sites
To add a launcher for a site, enter the URL for the site in the address bar. When the site fully loads, you'll notice a plus sign [+] to the left of the address (Figure A).
Opera running on a Verizon-branded Droid Turbo.
Tap the plus sign [+] and a pop-up will appear (Figure B). Tap Add to home screen, give the launcher a name, and tap Add.
Adding a site to the home screen with this easy pop-up.
The launcher will now appear on your home screen. You can even create folders (depending on what you use as your home screen launcher) and collect different sites into different folders.
Although the site-as-home-screen-launcher isn't a make or break feature, it certainly can make your daily mobile work life a bit easier. Give this a try and see if this feature doesn't have you singing Opera's praise.
Which mobile browser is your go-to, and why? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.