Opera Max is well-known for its built-in compression technology. It's an Android app that helps users save a lot of bandwidth by compressing text, images, and other kind of content. But it couldn't save users any data when they visited video portals like YouTube and Netflix.
The company is changing that with an update that went live by adding the ability to compress videos served over HTTPS on the two sites. This will significantly reduce the amount of data consumed while streaming videos on YouTube and Netflix. The company claims that one can save more than 50 percent data without a significant loss in video quality. For instance, in company's test, a video of 10MB file size only consumed 3MB when the data was routed via Opera Max. Apart from reduced data usage, this also means that users will experience less buffering when watching videos on slow connections.
Released in 2014, Opera Max significantly reduces bandwidth by compressing and rerouting data using a virtual private network (VPN) to its "data-savings cloud." At the servers, the company passes through all the non-encrypted data requests to make them lighter. You can select which apps should route their data via Opera Max and which can connect to the Internet directly. Secure communication (HTTPS) like the data you exchange with your bank's website are not routed via Opera Max. This is why the app doesn't work with Facebook either, since all of Facebook's communications are on HTTPS.
Opera Max could be a huge success in emerging nations like India where most users aren't on a fast and unlimited connections. Apps like Facebook Lite, and Google's Web Light have already piqued attention of many users in the country. Opera Max can compress data over both cellular and Wi-Fi connections.
Opera Max is a free download on Google Play. The company monetises with OEM partnerships, with an announcement on Wednesday that Opera Max technology will be pre-installed on MIUI 7 that will soon come to Xiaomi phones. Customers will need to manually turn on the 'MIUI Data Saver' feature, powered by Opera Max.