Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

DS Web Browsing Looks Refreshingly Good 108

ElFozzie writes "Browsing the web on a handheld console or mobile phone has never been the most pleasant experience. The new Opera browser for the DS looks like it might change all that. On the eve of the Japanese launch, a story at Pocketgamer outlines the features and links to a video of the new browser in action." From the article: "The video illustrates the browsing technique, which sees the lower touch screen used for scanning zoomed-out pages and interaction via the stylus, whilst the top screen displays the zoomed-in detail. It also shows both text entry and handwriting recognition systems for rapid entry of URLs, as well as a host of standard browser features including bookmarks."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DS Web Browsing Looks Refreshingly Good

Comments Filter:
  • on opera's site (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:38PM (#15751588) Journal
    I went on Opera's site last night and was looking at the stuff they have on the DS browser, it seems really interesting, like the handwritting tool and the ability to auto-complete ".com" endings. Whilst these might not seem huge they are far better than I was expecting. I just hope that they will have a speedy UK release and that they will put the price at about £10, I'd definately get one then, if it was £20 (which would make it the same proce as brain training) then I might be a bit more reserved... But here's hoping that they do good with it
  • How much of Oprea will the DS be able to use? (Javascript, , fonts, etc.)
    • Since TFA is on a gaming site, it's blocked here at work (and they also finally got around to blocking coral caches recently), so pardon me if this is addressed in the article. Anyways, I'm curious to know if the cartridge will have enough flash memory to allow for updates to the browser. New versions, new features, bug fixes, all that good stuff. I will definitely be buying it if it does.
      • Re:Very nice, but... (Score:5, Informative)

        by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:49PM (#15751680) Homepage
        The DS browser comes with a GBA-looking cart (an expansion module) that will come with extra RAM for the browsing experience. They have DS and DS-Lite version of the browser (the main software is the same, but the physical size of the expansion cart is different, so it will match the physical profile of the DS Lite so thart doesn't "stick out" while in use).

        Also it is based on Opera 8, should have full Javascript and CSS capabilities (of course no Java or Flash). Opera devs have confirmed that it should be to run any AJAX-enabled site (like GMail for example). Also, because of limited space, no tabbed browsing.
        • Also it is based on Opera 8, should have full Javascript and CSS capabilities (of course no Java or Flash). Opera devs have confirmed that it should be to run any AJAX-enabled site (like GMail for example). Also, because of limited space, no tabbed browsing.

          Darn. That's a shame about the Flash (and tabs).

          I have a PSP, the browser is quite functional. I've been looking at the DS Lite as I'm not convinced I want to keep it, but... a handheld with Flash functionality and WiFi is a brilliant platform, and t

          • i found the PSP browser to be about as useful as a hole in my head and as fun as rusty nails through my scrotum.

            typing anything into it took forever, and it would run out of memory and fail to load pages quite often
        • by StarKruzr ( 74642 )
          Do you put GBA-type carts in the bottom of the DS or the top? Because if it's the bottom it would be pretty nifty if they put a keyboard sticking out the back of the cartridge. Yes, it would make the cartridge much bigger, but who cares? Keyboard! Room for storage, too.
          • GBA carts stick out of the bottom of the DS (both lite and regular). I agree that would be kinda cool... maybe homebrew of some sort? Come on modders, get to work!
          • What do you need ANOTHER keyboard for ? It is DS !! Are you aware of the fact that DS has touchscreen?
        • If it is based on Opera 8, then it's ability to run AJAX applications as simple as gmail will be close to 0. :(

          Luckily, gmail has a basic HTML version, but still...
        • Does it need the expansion port? I know of one goomba (One of my cousins' friends: not me!) whose managed to mank up and gunk up his GBA port beyond repair. (Not that he'd ever have the patience for browsing)
    • From p ecs [] DS Specs: CPU: - Main processor is an ARM 9 (running at 67 mHz) - Cache: 8 KB Instruction Cache, 4 KB Data Cache - Other processor is an ARM 7 (running at 33 MHz) Memory/RAM: - Main memory is 4 MB - ARM 9 and ARM 7 each have 16 KB - The internal RAM is 64 KB and the VRAM (Video RAM) is 656 KB. I'm not sure how much java it wil be able to handle with such a small amount of RAM (my cell phone has more than that). It will be interesting to see th
  • by Silent sound ( 960334 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:43PM (#15751640)
    From the article:
    a US and European release shouldn't be far behind. Indeed Opera are promising an update on global rollout next week and we'll convey it just as rapidly as we can.

  • Slashdot DS (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:52PM (#15751705) Homepage Journal
    It also shows both text entry and handwriting recognition systems for rapid entry of URLs
    That's a relief. I was worried they'd go with voice recognition for URLs, which would have made entering "" a total nightmare.
  • But when would this actually be useful?
    • A lot of Downtown centres are wireless now (think Toronto and SanFran to name 2), instead of walking around with a laptop in one hand, I can now walk around surfing on my DS
      • Toronto? There are hotspots at places like Union Station, and around some coffee shops, but that is FAR from the entire downtown core. There is no 1 network covering the whole area so u can walk around surfing, not that i have ever seen. I used to lug around my Laptop as a mp3 player, and i would pull it out sometimes durring lunch, or waiting for bus/train(i work downtown) and see what i can catch. I dont think i ever connected to anything.
        The ones that u can see at union and the coffee shops are all Payed
      • I see this as usefull when my girlfriend decides to use my computer and i dont feel like turning another one on just to check the weather or the news or something like that. Instead i can simply hold the lightweight DS and sit my arse down on the couch.
    • I'm going to Illinois Tech in exactly one month. Their entire campus is Wi-Fi enabled, but I don't have a laptop. With Opera DS, I can still check my e-mail, check up on forums, read some webcomics, and even post to my website while in class or outside or what have you. It's perfect. I'll will be getting a copy as soon as it comes out.

      Now someone just needs to make an SSH client for the DS that doesn't require any modding or hacking, and I'll be happy.
      • The DS screen is only 240 pixels wide, not enough to display 80 columns for a full size terminal session.
        Most basic command line stuff would work, but just think about the multitude of stuff that would not (imagine trying to run top for instance).
        • Meh, I only need to ssh into a machine to access naim running in screen. Get rid of the buddylist display and naim runs fine at widths less than 80 columns. The naim console cuts off characters, but the actual conversation between people is word-wrapped. I'd be able to live =P
  • Is this a cart or does it live in memory on the DS?
  • Love to know how well it works. I'm a bit skeptical, as the HW on my dad's tablet was a big letdown... and that had a huge screen/fast proc/RAM to play with....

    "eat up martha"

    • If it is anything like Brain Ages we should be fine... I am very impressed with that recognition, I have horrendous writing and it still gets it right 90% of the time.
    • If it works like the handwriting recognition within Brain Age, it should be off to a good start. My sloppy 5's and 9's were easily detected by the system without problems. It was only when I became exceedingly lazy in my number formation that the system had problems correctly interpreting what I had written. While this obviously will be more complex than simply recognizing 0 through 9, the current handwriting recognition that is out there leads me to an optimistic viewpoint.
  • by rk ( 6314 ) *

    All I need is an ssh client for it and I may never need a laptop again...Not that I'd want to do heads down work on it, but just flipping open my DS, logging on and tapping out a couple emergency commands would be very handy.

    • Re:Sweet! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by megli ( 649925 )
      Or if you have your own server you could write your own online SSH client using javascript and your server side scripting language of choice. (Insert some buzzwords here to make this idea sound more impressive.)
    • I'm not sure why the other post pointing to DSlinux is (0), but there is at least one ssh client for DSlinux - Dropbear []. I haven't tried it yet. Of course you'd need a flash cart or (mini/micro/normal)-SD adapter such as the M3.
      • The other post is from someone not logged in ("Anonymous Coward") and those always start out at zero, and will stay there until some moderator moves it.

  • Will it have some sort of ad blocking? I notice Opera doesn't have much in that respect, except it does allow you to block pages and domains, it would seem.

    I can't stand browsing with anything other than Firefox now because of the deluge of ads everywhere. Every time I use another browser I am surprised to see ads on pages that I never recalled carrying ads back when I used to use IE. Way back.

    • > I notice Opera doesn't have much in that respect

      Except the "Block Content" feature you mean? <sigh> (right click on page, select "Block Content". Select the content you want blocked. Press button marked "Done". Done.

  • If the DS worked with WPA, I'd be all over this. It's such a pain to reset my wireless router to WEP every time I wanna kick some foreign kid's ass in mario kart. I can't even buy their USB wifi thing because it's XP-IE only. Boy will I be blue if the Wii is held back in the same way.
    • Re:WPA? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Throtex ( 708974 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:36PM (#15751998)
      Get a second wireless router and set it to WEP encryption. Place the WEP-encrypted router directly behind your cable modem/DSL/tin can. Place your original router, with a more secure configuration, behind the WEP-encrypted router. Thanks to the magic of NAT, computers behind your original router will be able to see out to the machines connected over the WEP-encrypted router, but the machines connected to the WEP-encrypted router will only be able to see the ports you would have had open to the general Internet anyway.

      Network isolation, courtesy of NAT. The kind of security through crapscurity required by Nintendo.
      • This is a really cool solution, which I never thought about. Since the cost of the router is almost comparable to the cost of the DS USB access point, it makes sense to have that extra chunk of functionality. Are there any disadvantages to this setup? Would you still be able to port forward or port trigger to the inner (more secure) router?
      • Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT v24 firmware supports multiple ssid's with different encryption methods on each interface
        More info: []
      • This sounds like a totally reasonable solution for playing Mario Kart online once and a while.
        • I know you're being sarcastic, but I agree -- thus my jabs at Nintendo's lack of support for modern security standards. However, I'm paranoid about running wireless networks anyway, and held off until getting the DS (my "inside" network is a hard-wired NAT router, not a second wireless router). I saw two alternatives, and the one I described is the one I picked -- if you get into my network, you're not going to be able to see my other computers no matter what you do.

          The other alternative was to configure
    • You could just get a simple wifi router, these things tend to be very cheap.
    • I solved it by using my neighbor's open WiFi.
  • The fact that they are willing to put this kind of effort into a secondary feature is great. Most console/handheld internet browsers aren't that great, mostly because of the resolution and/or screen size. Just imagine what they will be able to do with the Wii. Obviously, with the Wii, the pointer will work to control the cursor on screen. A lapboard could be sold that would plug into the Wiimote as a means to enter text. What I hope they do to get around the resolution limitations is use the tilt functiona
  • any news on when it might be available in NA? i've been wanting a handheld game machine and have been trying to decide which to get, and i keep stalling because i want something more useful than just for gaming... this almost decides it for me!
  • It's too bad that only one of the 2 screens is touch sensative; I'm sure there are cost or technical considerations, but it's an odd assymetry that I dislike.

    Overall I think the touch screen is great, but the dual screens are kind of gimmicky... and I really wish it had some kind of nubbish analog control.
    • Why would you need two touch screens if you're only going to be able to use one at a time?
      • Why would you need two touch screens if you're only going to be able to use one at a time?

        Why have a crosspad if you can only press one direction at once?

        But seriously... it would be nice to have the option to have the 2 browser screens treated as a single virtual screen, and allow clicking anywhere...
  • I said it before, I'll say it again: DS browsing will be better than most other pocket experiences, because Decuma is light years ahead of everyone else. I'm just angry that Windows Mobile 2003 broke support for my mobile.
  • IP/MAC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Magnj ( 918718 )
    I'll be attempting to use this at college where we are only allowed to register one IP/MAC per user name. Will it have a function to change IP/MAC so I can pick up campus wireless?
    • That IP/MAC should belong to the WAN side of your WRT54GL with dd-wrt linux firware which is running in client mode and NAT using the ethernet ports. Put another another wireless AP off of one of those ports.

    • How about using the USB wifi adapter so that your DS uses the internet connection off our PC.
    • do you use wireless on a laptop? it would be easier to register the MAC for your DS and clone it on your laptop or router
    • Not sure if Opera uses the same settings thingy as Metroid Prime Hunters does for Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, but if it does, that thing only seems to have MAC/NWiFiC ID transfer to another DS system, and no hand-tuning of the MAC. (Probably just to make cheating and identity spoofing a bit trickier...)

      Like others said, it's probably infinitely easier to just route the access through a laptop. =/

      And, of course, remember to raise a question why your city doesn't have an open WLAN yet. Mine does []. =) (Too b

      • Unfortunatly I use a desktop in my dorm and have no laptop. I was hoping I could just bring the DS to class and use it to game and surf instead of learning but I guess that might be asking a bit much (the surfing not the gaming of course). What if I originally register the DS as my primary computer and then just change my MAC.IP on my router for when I'm in my room?
        • What if I originally register the DS as my primary computer and then just change my MAC.IP on my router for when I'm in my room?

          I suppose that should work too. Darn, never thought of that sort of obvious solution =) DS should be able to show what MAC it has...

  • WPA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:14PM (#15752711)
    Pretty please?
  • If you don't want to read the article to find the link from there to the blog to see the video look here [] it's in Japanese, but you get the gist of how it works well enough.
  • Opera on the DS sure looks good and looks like it will be significantly better than the built-in browser on the PSP. The PSP's browser isn't too terribly bad all things considered, but it's almost impossible to really use for anything other than reading news with its retarded text entry system. If Opera can use the DS's touch screen for text entry, then the DS could really be useful for full-featured web browsing (minus the Flash and Java -- but who can't go without them a bit anyways?) and email where ever

    • The poor man's laptop. :-)

      Considering I've been wanting a really small sub-laptop for quite some time (and even those are too big), and the price at which those sub-laptops go for (1000-2000$US for those Sony), I'd consider a Nintendo DS Lite with Opera "a poor man's sub-laptop".

      In fact I'd be really impressed if any company would be able to come out with a sub-200$ micro-laptop with touch screen that can run Opera. At that price you can barely buy anything but a basic Palm which can't even do Wi-Fi.

      The fac

  • by justchris ( 802302 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @08:45PM (#15753882) Homepage
    Who cares about a browser for the DS? The reason I'll be picking this up is the RAM expansion pack that comes with it. With the new passthroughs that plug in through the DS cart port, that thing will be great for homebrew and emulation. Can't wait to see what I can pull off with that.
    • Gee, and here I was hoping that the homebrew developers would be forced to think a bit like the commercial game developers: "How do I fit all this stuff in such limited memory? If Metroid Prime Hunters runs nicely as hell, why can't I get Quake to run?" (The answer to latter: Yes, Quake seems to run, just scale down the textures a bit, no one's going to notice you use smaller textures. And that's apparently what DSQuake porters are doing. =)

      The reason I hold the people who do awesome homebrew games in ver

  • I kind of wish the SSR mode was landscape.

    But a portable web browser on any device is a good thing.

  • I admit this is a nifty approach to cramming a usable browser onto a tiny device. Using one screen as a selector and the other as a magnifier is really clever, but it reminds me of accessibility tools for the visually impaired. There's a reason why paperback books are the size they are, instead of the size of postage stamps. You could print books that small, but people would need a compelling reason to read them, such as being forced to live in a coffin. Tiny devices are fine for looking at tiny blocks of i

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!