Opera's mobile browsers are quite popular because of their ability to compress data, but it's unfortunately been limited to just that -- the browser itself. This becomes less and less useful as smartphones continue to evolve, since our data usage patterns encompass so much more than just the simple browser: many of us are constantly streaming music, uploading and downloading images and apps, and so on. To lighten the hefty load we inflict on our monthly data allotments, Opera has launched a beta of its new Android app called Opera Max, which compresses most of the information that goes through your device -- websites, images, videos and many of your usual apps (Instagram and Vine immediately come to mind, but the possibilities are wide open).
Opera makes this happen by setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that measures all of the data coming through your device. Data requests are then sent through Opera's servers, though the company tells us that it only measures how much data you use and how much you save -- in other words, it says your information is safe. There's no guarantee on how much data you'll save, but if you're a gulper like us, we suspect it'll be a significant amount. While the company hasn't specified how many beta testers are allowed, it does say that room is limited; if you're into the idea, you'll need to join its Google Plus Community, opt in to the beta and then download the app from the Play Store.