Review: Opera Link


One of the big stars of the Mango update to Windows Phone 7 is the mobile version of Internet Explorer. The ninth major iteration deserves a closer look, but the strength of the built in browser means that it's unlikely that you'll be looking for an alternative. Even if you did want to move, the biggest alternative, Opera, isn't yet available for Windows Phone. For long time Opera users though, you can get to something more important. Your bookmarks.

Author: Martin Rauscher

Version Reviewed: 2.0.0

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One of the great strengths of the Opera ecosystem is that you can sync your bookmarks across multiple smartphones - testing and reviewing multiple handsets on our sister site All About Symbian it was a simple matter to log on to MyOpera, and a fully populated bookmark list and the nine "speed-dial" favourites would be pulled into the handsets for immediate use.

Picking up a Windows Phone handset, I felt like I was missing my bookmarks, even with a lovely browser. So step forward Martin Rauscher with Opera Link for WP7. With this little utility, you can log in to a MyOpera account, and Opera Link will pull down the information and store it locally, ready for you to open up the app and have your bookmarks (both the regular bookmarks and those assigned to the quick launch/speed dial portion of Opera) ready for you, each in their own pivot screen.

 Opera Link Opera Link

Tapping on a link will pass it to Windows Phone's Internet Explorer, and your site will be opened in a new tab and away you go. Using the back key, you will be taken back to Opera Link if you follow the breadcrumb navigation that far back, so you can use it as a bookmark screen if you wish, with one caveat.

Each bookmark opened by Opera Link will be in a new tab. Immediately, that's not a problem, but after a while I open up the tabs selector and I've a lot of old windows left behind that need to be opened. This isn't unique to Opera Link, but the app is one of the major causes of tab explosion in my smartphone.

Over time, I've saved my best links into Internet Explorer's bookmark system, so I've less need of Opera Link now than when I first picked up the HTC Trophy, but you can rest assured that when the next review WP7 device arrives, Opera Link will be one of the first apps installed.

It's for a limited audience, but for that audience it's an important app. Would I like to see more syncing and for Opera Link to be fully integrated into the bookmarks of Internet Explorer? Definitely, and I'd love to see this sync back any changes to MyOpera. But it manages to have 80% of the functionality that I want, it brings my bookmarks to a new handset, and it's free.

-- Ewan Spence, Oct 2011.

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