Opera's custom web browser for the Nintendo DS is shaping up to be a killer productivity app if this early hands-on look at the program is any guide. I'm all for a DS web browser; in fact I feel that it should have been built into the DS at launch in the same manner as PictoChat. Actually, it could have replaced PictoChat for all I care.
When I started it up I was browsing in dual screen mode. Basically the page was fit to the width of the screen and the height spanned both screens. With an easy touch of the stylus you can switch into a "zoom" mode where you are presented with a picture of the web page on the top screen and on the bottom screen you can drag a box around to see in actual size what you need to view. You can also simply swap the screens so that you can type in text as needed where fields or check boxes etc. are presented.
While I love the idea of quick and convenient web access in my pocket (squinting at my cell phone's tiny screen just isn't comfortable), I'm saddened by the fact that the browser takes up both the DS game slot and the GBA cartridge slot. I understand that the browser has to "live" somewhere and that the hardware needs a little memory boost for the browser to work, but it means that on days that I want to have Opera in my pocket I can't have any games along for the ride. One of the DS's strengths is that I can have two different games available for play at any time . I'm not one to carry around a pocket full of game cards or cartridges when I take my DS out and about with me. Now I'll be forced to choose between being productive and slacking off. There are some decisions we should not be forced to make.
(via Digital Battle)