Browser Wars: Opera Mobile Brings Back "Turbo" Boost to Compete with Safari

Turbo Boost

No word yet on whether you get a pocket Hasselhoff to push it for you, but it sounds like Opera Mobile 9.7 is set to bring back the "Turbo" boost in an effort to take it to Mobile Safari (and, we presume, WebKit in general as found on the iPhone, Google Chrome lite for Android, Palm Pre, some Nokia devices, etc. etc.... etc...)

Ganging up on the "real internet" browser are our good friends Matt Miller from and Phil Nickinson from Matt explains the concept behind Nokia's blast from the past via his ZDNet blog:

Turbo mode that supplements the native Opera Mobile browser with the proxy functionality found in Opera Mini. So, with Opera Mobile 9.7 and Turbo mode enabled you get a fully functioning web browser with proxy/server side lifting going on to provide the FASTEST browsing experience currently available on a mobile phone.

TiPb vaguely remembers proxy and cache tricks from those old spamvertisements promising to quadruple our old dial-up modem speeds. Phil tries to pip us to the proxy post, however:

OK, this isn't exactly a fair fight, but forget about that for a minute. To the average user it probably doesn't matter whether your browser is being rendered through a proxy, security and privacy implications be damned.

And he's absolutely right. When those users are stuck on the equivalent of dial-up. Once they -- like iPhone, Android, and Palm Pre users -- get with the equivalent of broadband, well... let's just say we don't get those spamvertisements anymore...

Holding the snark for a moment, it's great to see Opera providing stop gaps for users with slow connections who don't care about privacy or security. Here's hoping the gap stops being necessary to fill quickly, however, and Opera can focus on forward-looking browser technologies, since WebKit doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.

[Tip o'the browser to Phil for the image inspiration as well!]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Browser Wars: Opera Mobile Brings Back "Turbo" Boost to Compete with Safari


I've been hearing a lot about various browsers being faster than Safari recently. The thing is, even if there are browsers faster, none of them are as much a pleasure to use as Safari is.

It's futile! Mobile Safari on the 3GS is wicked fast, it's not bad on the 3G either. Not just that but the iPhone just makes it so much better.

Are you kidding, Apple is never going to let another browser through its app store. Like it or not, every iPhone user is stuck with safari.