Mobile browser company Opera Software plans to combine its Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers to offer an alternative to the built-in browser on the Android mobile OS, reports CNET.

Opera made its name with a mobile browser for low-end mobile devices that Android handsets are now gradually replacing. It currently makes the Opera Mobile and Opera Mini browsers.

Opera Mobile is a traditional browser that processes web page code and runs JavaScript programs while Opera Mini makes use of a remote server which then sends simplified versions of web pages back to the device, reducing network usage and increasing battery life on more low-end devices.

The majority of Opera’s 140 million monthly browser users are currently using Opera Mini.

Opera chief executive Lars Boilesen told CNET that the new Android-optimised browser will detect how strong the network is and switch from Opera Mobile to Mini when there is too little bandwidth for the former to provide a good service.

Boilesen said the hope is that Opera Mini users that upgrade to Android devices will be persuaded to convert to Opera Mobile by using the hybrid browser.

The Opera chief executive added that the browser is due for release in 2012 and known internally as Opera with Turbo for Android.