Curiouser and curiouser. Opera has had a long-standing tradition of providing its users with lean browsers and performance enhancing side-apps, but Opera Max, the company’s VPN service that compresses data to wring the most from your data plan, just got a strange update in the Google Play Store. The first weirdness that we’re seeing is that it’s a completely new listing with “v2.0” appended to it. That by itself isn’t wholly out of the ordinary. But what does seem to be out of character for Opera is a suspicious little “Boost” button.
Aside from this addition, there’s not much different about Opera Max “v2.0.” When you dig into Boost, what you find is a vague description telling you that you can “Boost to save mobile data.” A display shows how many apps are “ready to boost,” and tapping the shiny red button throws whatever Boost is into high gear. Once this is finished, you’re shown advertising. The app encourages you to boost frequently throughout the day to ensure the most efficient use of your data.
But hang on a second, because isn’t this what the app is essentially supposed to do by default without pressing a big red button? Is this just a ploy to get an advertisement in front of your face? Perhaps most poignantly, does this have anything to do with Opera recently being acquired by Chinese investors to the tune of $1.2 billion? There’s not really enough solid evidence to get up in arms just yet, but it does raise an eyebrow. What about you? What do you think of Opera Max’s new Boost button? Let us know in the comments!
Update: It appears that “v2.0” has been removed from the listing in the Play Store, but the Boost button remains.
Previously: Opera Max now faster, more secure