In December, Opera opened up a small alpha test of its Opera Max product, which purports to reduce cellular data use across all of your Android apps. While that early trial soon maxed out, on Tuesday, Opera expanded the program to a wide audience, with a Play Store version.
Installing the app doesn't -- at least for now -- get you running Max, though; it places users into a queue for inclusion into the trial. At the time of this writing, there are nearly 7,000 users queued up in front of us, with 136 behind us. The line, as noted in comments in the Play Store, is not moving quickly, either.
The idea isn't new. Other companies -- and Opera itself -- have used data compression for their apps and browsers. Opera sends any data you request through its servers where it is compressed before being sent to your device. Opera said:
Opera Max uses a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to measure all the data usage on your phone. Once Opera Max savings is enabled, all non encrypted data requests are sent through our compression servers that optimize video, images, and websites to use less data. We only measure how much data you use and how much data you’ve saved.
Here is what the Play Store blurb says:
Opera Max beta is a free, powerful and easy-to-use app that saves you mobile data. Get up to 50% data savings from compressing video, images and text on almost every app on your phone.
We now wish to test our capacity for data-savings properly before we roll it out worldwide. Invitations to the app will come on a first-come, first-served basis. So just download this app to reserve your place in line. We'll start giving the early birds access in a few days.
Opera Max is made by Opera Software, a company with more than ten years' experience in researching and developing mobile data-compression technology.
We tried Opera Max in December when it was first released. We noticed, however, that we could not sync "Candy Crush" with Facebook, which was a deal-breaker for us.
We're currently in the queue for the new version and will report when we get a chance to try the new app.