Samsung's latest Gear S smartwatch, ahead of its expected global roll-out
starting October, has received its first Web browser - Opera Mini.
Opera Software has announced the release of its Opera Mini browser for the new Tizen-based smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S. Smartwatch owners will be able to download the Opera Mini (version 7.5) browser from Samsung Gear Apps for free.
Announcing the news, Opera said in a blog post, "The Internet is something we are used to accessing wherever we are and on practically every device we use. But, for some reason, the smartwatch has been stripped of an Internet browser - until today. We're happy to announce that Opera Mini has become the first web browser on a Tizen-based smartwatch, the new Samsung Gear S."
The blog post claims that the Opera Mini browser for Gear S "includes many touch-friendly features that become extra handy on a smartwatch".
Some of the highlight features of the new browser are the website shortcuts that appear as large buttons on Opera Mini's Speed Dial; easy navigation with gesture shortcuts (to zoom, double-tap with a finger or to get a more precise view, just pinch to zoom) and swipe support for forward and back.
The Opera Mini browser also comes with the Smart Page feature that displays links based on the sites visited frequently; a number of suggested links are also displayed by category.
The company says, "The Smart Page connects you to your social networks, news, weather, sports, entertainment, and more. You can easily switch between the Smart Page and your Speed Dial by selecting a tab at the top of your screen."
Samsung Gear S smartwatch users can also save webpages for offline reading. The blog post notes that the browser has been optimised to save data and notes, "It employs data-saving technology that shrinks the size of webpages to as little as 10 percent, helping to load image-heavy pages in a snap."
Prior to this, Nokia's Here mapping division had announced its partnership with Samsung to bring Here maps and location services on Tizen-powered smart devices, including Samsung Gear S.
The company had revealed that Here was powering a Tizen app called Navigator on the Samsung Gear S, which would offer turn-by-turn walk navigation and public transit routing. The app would also include the ability to store map data on the device, to be used for offline navigation.