Why oh why oh why doesn’t Opera Mini support widgets? It’d be so simple to implement into the system. I’m a big fan of delivered content. Sure, Opera Mini is without a doubt the very best mobile web browser I’ve ever used. It’s fast, usually reliable and secure. But the fact remains that when I want to know something I have to manually search for it, which is why I want widgets.
I’ve got a couple of widget clients on my phone at the moment as well as a built in RSS feed reader. Widsets, Bluepulse, Plusmo, Mobizines, Mobispine and Jitter (jitter is just a mobile twitter client but it counts as a widget) are being used at the moment but each of them has problems. Widsets only has a few widgets that do what they’re meant to. Bluepulse and Plusmo are both extraordinarily slow despite having well designed widgets. Mobispine and Mobizines are basically RSS readers with better graphics and not much available content. One problem with all of them is that links automatically use the phone’s in built browser.
I’d love to have widget clients like these built into Opera Mini as standard. I like to read a joke or quote of the day while having my morning coffee. My first smoke of the day is much better while reading the news and my horoscope. But I really hate having to look these trivial things up and I don’t like having to have so many different applications cluttering up my memory stick.
So I envision a new version of Opera Mini that opens into a 9×9 grid as the start page. The cursor starts on the centre space of the grid where Opera Mini as we know it lies. Surrounding that are up to 8 widgets that I either pick from a categorised list, or make myself using a simple built-in tool (select feed URL, choose colour scheme, name widget, done). These could be newsfeeds or any other regularly delivered content. They would use my phone’s normal web access and bypass the Opera Mini servers to update while constantly running in the background (with settings allowing automatic or manual refreshes) while Opera Mini is open. Using a Switch command added to the menu I could switch between my widgets and normal Opera Mini browsing just by pressing a button. And any links on articles received by these widgets could be opened by Opera Mini not the normal phone browser.
Anyone else out there think this is not only a good idea but a perfectly plausible one as well? Oh well, maybe in version 3.2 then. After all, the developers told Opera Watch they had something very special planned for the next version of Opera Mini. We can only hope.