Opera, who is mainly known for its web browser, has announced the testing of App Pass for Opera Max. This will allow users to access a free of charge wireless data connection for selected apps. Essentially, it would allow apps like Spotify or Facebook to access the internet without any charges of hours per day. It is being tested with Norwegian teleco Telenor, who happen to own DiGi and have brought it to Malaysia.
Opera Max is a data optimisation app that promises to give users 50-percent more data for their connections by using a proprietary data-compression system. Essentially, it promises users that they will be able to surf more, and watch more videos on their mobile devices for the same data cap.
In previous iterations, Opera Max had required the user to be using the Opera mobile browser to work; however, the new version removes this requirement. Meaning that Android users will be able to download and install the Opera Max app without having to piggy back on the browser as well.
The app itself is not entirely new, as it has been around since last year. DiGi has also been partnering with Opera since then, and has been offering surfing bonuses for those using Opera Mini. Although this feature has not been mentioned much.
App Pass is an extension this service and allows telcos to provide limited free access for selected apps. DiGi is currently offering the App Pass free connections for Facebook, Whatsapp, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter, Mudah and YouTube. While each use of the pass is only valid for a limited number of hours, users are free to continually redeem new uses of the pass for the duration of this trial.
Opera plans to roll out paid and sponsored passes for App Pass in the future, which should come once the trial run is completed. It is unknown how much these paid passes will cost, but it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
The trial began on 17 February, and will run until 17 April 2015. However, there is a catch to all this. It is only open to DiGi prepaid users, who will have been notified through a text message that they are eligible for the trial run.