Opera Mini

Opera Mini Web browser receives significant update

Opera Mini Web browser for Phone, and now iPad, has received a big update. In addition to support iPhone and iPad, Retina Display, and Facebook and Twitter, Opera Mini has received stability improvements and is much more pleasurable to use.

  • Updated design with a fresh new look and feel
  • Super smooth pinch-to-zoom and panning
  • Support for iPhone 4 retina display, iPad, and iPad 2 devices
  • Direct share on Facebook, Twitter, and My Opera
  • Open new page in background tab
  • Improved international font support for Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other non-latin languages

If you pick this one up, let us know what you think!

[Free - iTunes link]

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Opera Mini for iPhone: good for extremes, not extremely good

So we've had a couple of days to play with Opera Mini for iPhone and it's clear why the new proxy browser is so divisive -- it's got a fantastic feature set, and is fast for people on slow EDGE connections and cheap for people on roaming data, but its UI is kludgy, it doesn't render HTML as well as Safari, and it has trouble with dynamic websites.

Whether you love it or hate it will likely depend on a couple of things:

  • If you roam a lot
  • If you're on 2.5G/EDGE a lot
  • If you love Opera's features like in-page search and speed dial
  • If you don't mind weird interface behavior like popping zoom and crazy scroll
  • If you're not a typography nut whose eyes bleed at poorly rendered Helvetica
  • If you're not an HTML aficionado who notices things like missing rounded corners and imprecise box-models
  • If you're not interested in the upcoming HTML5 video support and don't mind getting redirected to Flash videos which won't play either

The more of the above that applies to you, the more you'll want to keep Opera Mini handy. And hey, even if none of it applies to you, it's free so you can stick it on a back page (or in an iPhone OS 4 folder) for emergencies.

It's also a 1.0 release, so Opera will no doubt improve it going forward. Either that or complain to the EU and try and force a browser-ballot onto the iPhone... (We kid! They invented tabbed-browsing, we heart them!)

How's Opera Mini working for you?

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Opera Mini for iPhone Approved, in App Store now

Opera has just announced that their Opera Mini browser for iPhone has been approved [Free - iTunes link]. According to Engadget, it's already popping up in some international App Stores and should/could be in your App Store any time now. Update: looks like it's live now, go get it!

Opera Mini likely received approval because it's not an actual web rendering, JavaScript processing engine like Safari (or Firefox, IE, Chrome, etc.) but a proxy-browser. All the rendering and processing is done on Opera's servers and then compressed and sent to the app for display.

This also means it doesn't use as much data, and can thus usually display web pages faster and with slower data connections than a full-on browser -- especially useful for people on roaming data rates or on EDGE connections.

It breaks SSL encryption by necessity however (https sites), so while you may want to use it to traveling the outskirts, you'll like want to avoid it when mobile banking downtown.

(You also might want to use it for it's on-page text search feature -- something even iPhone OS 4 still lacks.)

Let us know when Opera Mini appears in the App Store for you, and if you try it, what you think of it. Video of Dieter checking out the pre-release version after the break!

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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TiPb Apps 6.2: Opera Mini for iPhone (CTIA 2010)

Live from CTIA 2010, Dieter takes a look at Opera Mini for the iPhone, just now submitted to the App Store.

Watch along after the break!

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Opera Mini for iPhone Submitted to iTunes App Store

Opera PR tells us they've submitted their Opera Mini browser for iPhone and iPod touch to the iTunes App Store. If that reads a tad non-plussed, there's a reason for it. We're posting it because it's "big news" but it smells manufactured. No doubt tons of apps were submitted to the App Store today and there's no way we could post about all of them, but due to Apple's perceived reluctance to approve a "rival" browser to Mobile Safari, and Opera's use of that for their own PR purposes, tech sites all of the internet are carrying the story. So good for Opera.

As to the app itself, I'm sure I'll appreciate it when roaming internationally or when caught on really slow EDGE connections, because Opera's proxy servers probably already have most popular sites pre-cooked and ready to render. I won't be using it for banking or highly interactive sites though, because proxy browsers by their nature break SSL encryption and don't offer real speed boosts for non-pre-rendered content.

I do like the idea of diversity and choice in the App Store, however, so hopefully it gets approved and those who want it can have it. (And Apple really needs to add a similar search-for-text-in-page feature to Mobile Safari already).

(Note: for Jailbreakers who want a proxy browser but don't want to wait, @antonioj points us to UCWEB which he says does pretty much the same thing as Opera Mini but is already available on Cydia.)

Opera Mini video after the break...

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Opera Mini for iPhone -- SPE at Mobile World Congress 2010

We had the opportunity at Mobile World Congress to sit down with Opera co-founder Jon S. von Tetzchner Jon S. von Tetzchner and talk Opera Mini browser for iPhone. Now the good news: We've seen the Opera Mini browser on the iPhone, and it is wonderful. The bad news: While we can talk about it till the cows come home, we weren't allowed to take video or even a still picture of it. Them's the breaks.

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Opera to Show Off Opera Mini Proxy Browser at MWC

Opera, makers of mobile web browsers popular on those platforms that don't yet have a WebKit browser (ouch, but yeah) has announced that they're going to show off a version of their Opera Mini proxy browser at Mobile World Congress (MWC) to partners and press.

I'm not a huge fan of proxy browsers in general -- where web data is rendered on Opera's servers, compressed, and then sent down to your phone. They remind me of those old "dial-up internet accelerators" that just cached everything locally. As broadband grew, the need for them evaporated. They also break secure connections, since they're doing the actual web calls on their server, so things like online banking become an issue for the paranoid.

Opera makes a good point, however -- for people in countries where data isn't "unlimited" but paid-per-megabyte, or for people roaming in other countries, proxy and compression can be a big money saver.

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UPDATED: Opera Mini on the iPhone Rumor Smasher: Not Denied, Not Even Submitted?!

UPDATE:

The New York Times gets clarification from Opera (via Daring Fireball):

“We stopped the work because of the prohibitive license,” to Mr. von Tetzchner wrote in an e-mail.

Turns out it was an internal project.

ORIGINAL POST:

So we, along with half the interwebs, picked up a paraphrased comment by Opera's president that pretty much indicated Apple had rejected popular mobile browser Opera Mini from the App Store.

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Opera Mini Denied! Apple Disallows Browser Competitor for iPhone

To no one's surprise, but perhaps to a few's disppointment, Apple may have denied entry to the iTunes App Store to Opera Mini. Says the New York Times (via Daring Fireball):

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