Opera Software announced the decision to discontinue Opera Max, an application for Android designed to save bandwidth and improve privacy today.
Opera Max was a standalone version of the Opera browser's Off-Road or Turbo mode. Basically, what it did was tunnel incoming traffic through Opera servers to compress the data before sending it to the user's device.
The service was not limited to compressing websites to save bandwidth though, as it did the same for media streams.
Opera Software introduced additional features in 2016, most notably a privacy mode that blocked trackers and other undesirable connections when enabled.
Changes that did not appeal to the majority of users were made in November 2016. A nag feature, one that required users to open the application to add time to their allowed quota, was added. The sole reason for that was that ads were displayed in the application.
While it was understandable that Opera needed to finance the service somehow, it was not without irony that an app with tracker blocking functionality displayed advertisement itself in its interface.
The last major version update was published in May 2017, the last update in July 2017. Opera Max 3.0 featured a new design, and some new features.
Opera Software made the decision to discontinue the product because it "had a substantially different value proposition than our browser products" and "represented a different focus for Opera".
The company pulled the Opera Max application from Google Play already. It is now unlisted on Google Play, but may still be available on third-party application stores for Android or on mirror sites such as APK Mirror.
Existing Opera Max users may continue using the application for the time being. Opera Software won't publish updates anymore however for the application, and will pull the plug completely in the future. The company has not revealed a fixed date for the termination of the service, but mentioned that users will be informed about the server-side termination of the service "in due time".
Opera Max's discontinuation may hit users of the application hard as there are not many viable alternatives available. While it is possible to use Opera Turbo / Off-Road Mode, or Google's data saver in browsers, only a handful apps are available that compress all data traffic.
Opera's decision hints at consolidation attempts and focus on developing Opera browser products. Whether that was made in an attempt to save money or free up development resources for the Opera browser is unknown, but it seems likely that this has played a role in the decision making process at Opera Software.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.