Conscious mobile internet users know how to manage their data plan. They monitor their traffic and take care not to jump the shark when reaching their limit. A great tool to have when combating evil data plan limits is the Opera Browser (or Opera Mini for a more lightweight solution). Opera has a feature that reduces the data traffic by compressing graphical elements before you download them on to your browser. A very useful tool indeed. Yet what if you don't exactly prefer Opera as your browser? What if you rarely browse but instead you are a heavy YouTube watcher? You see, The Opera team has thought of that (while commuting on a train). Opera Max brings the same cool feature to your entire phone.
An iron fist
The interface is very simple to understand. All you see is a Savings switch and a couple of history screens that show you traffic and how much data was saved per app. This not only monitors how effective Opera Max really is on your mobile data activities but also reveals what apps access the net and how much data they exchange. By pressing on Menu and selecting Blocked Apps, you can restrict specific apps form accessing the net. Yeah, let's see them do traffic now!
The first two tabs show traffic history for today and for the current month. The third tab however is all about passes. You start with a 7 day pass which means you can use Opera Max for free for 7 days. Once your pass expires and even before that, you may purchase another 7 days pass for free. The second purchase will also be for free. The third and forth passes will be free as well, and so on. What I'm curious about here is when will they implement In App purchases, because this is clearly a placeholder, so savor it while you can.
The Savings switch has three states. Off means that Opera Max is inactive. Pause means that your data connection is off, but you don't need to worry about it. On means it's on, but it will automatically pause when you disable your data connection. It's important to note that Opera Max is paused when you use WiFi connections. Still, this is a feature they intend to develop further.
- Image compression
- Video compression
- Compression intensity settings - quality versus traffic
- Detailed usage reports
- Data blocking can block apps from accessing the net
- Excellent for economic data plans
- It takes up two notification slots (one if you really try hard)*
- It only works on phones
*Go to Settings and Disable Status notification.
Opera Max is what I have dreamed for. After seeing the Off-road feature on Opera Mobile I was totally shocked that nobody else implemented anything similar. Now I can enjoy this feature and use any browser I wish.