About a week ago, Opera teased its new Max data-savings app for Android and allowed users to pre-register. Starting today, Opera will roll out Max to these pre-registered Android users in the U.S. on a first-come, first-served bases. Pre-registered European users can also install it today (there doesn’t seem to be a cap for them).
Opera Max effectively takes the compression technology the company developed to power its Opera Mini mobile browser and the “turbo” mode in its desktop apps and extends it to all of Android. The app sets up a VPN connection to Opera on your phone that is activated every time you switch from your home WiFi network to the cell network. All your non-encrypted data is then routed through Opera’s servers and compressed there.
If you’re on a metered plan, having Opera compress most of the images, videos and text you pull in over the cell network sounds like a great idea, as long as you are okay with the potential privacy tradeoff of having all your data go through Opera’s networks.
I’ve been testing the app for the last week and it’s a pretty...