Just a year after getting a new leadership from China, Opera has shockingly decided to discontinue its popular data management service called Opera Max. The new development has brought Opera VPN to the mainstream.
Opera considers that the Opera Max app had a "substantially different value proporation" than the catalogue of its other web browsing solutions and "represented a different focus" for the company. Importantly, the app had emerged as one of the most downloaded Opera apps on Google Play with 10 to 50 million downloads around the globe. It was also promoted to help users save up to 50 percent of their data through native content compression technology.
"As a consequence, there will be no further upgrades for Opera Max moving forward," the Opera team writes in a blog post. The company has delisted the app from Google Play store. However, existing users will continue to use the data-saving service for a time until it will be terminated from the server-side support.
Last update in July
The Opera Max app for Android received the last update on July 14. The update brought features such as a new auto-pilot integration and data-saving support for Facebook to the system-wide data-saving proxy that uses Opera's servers to compress content. Also, the new version included various performance improvements and stabilisation fixes for a wide range of Android devices.
Despite releasing a new version just last month, Opera has apparently concluded its journey in the Web world to shift users' focus towards its VPN (virtual private network) service that was debuted months last year. Called Opera Free VPN, the service is designed to let Android and iOS users browse the Web in a complete private mode. It blocks ad trackers as well as allows users to change their virtual location.
Although maintaining privacy was one of the key features of Opera Max, Opera took it to next levels with its free VPN service. The service was based on a model that was originally designed by SurfEasy, the Canadian company that Opera had acquired in March 2015.
The Chinese decision
The discontinuation of Opera Max is apparently among the few major tweaks that have been ruled by the Chinese group -- dominated by security firm Qihoo 360, which acquired the Norwegian company last year. It seems that the acquisition brought certain changes to the company's original objective that was mainly to deliver a data-optimised web browsing experience with enhanced privacy.
Moreover, the development interestingly emerges just days after Apple suddenly removed "unlicensed" VPN apps from its App Store in China. That move by the iPhone maker was primarily to help the local government continue its censorship on the Web