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Shocker: Apple Approves Opera Mini for iPhone

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 comments

Well, this is a nice surprise.

Those of you with iPhones will know that Apple sometimes rejects useful applications because they perform (or out perform) a similar feature or application offered by Apple on the iPhone. When Opera submitted the Opera Mini iPhone application, the company recognized the fact that Apple had yet to let a third party browser on the iPhone with a timer. Today, Apple approved the application and right now, it's available for download via the App Store.

So what's different about Opera Mini and how does it compare to Safari? Opera says that due to server-side rendering, Opera Mini compresses data by up to 90 percent before sending it to the phone, resulting in rapid page loading with less data transferred. This is something the folks with capped data plans, especially when roaming, will appreciate. It also means if you're on EDGE or your 3G is really weak, then you'll get a better browsing experience with Opera Mini.

Screenshots of the app running on an iPhone 2G below.

Check out the video below for a demonstration of how much faster Opera Mini is compared to Safari when the user is on a 2G EDGE connection.

Opera Mini iPhone App

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  • -5 Hide
    tayb , April 13, 2010 2:33 PM
    Tried it out yesterday on my iPod Touch. It sucks. The page caching might be useful if I was on Edge but I don't notice any speed improvements over wi-fi. The menu is clumsy, red, and wastes way too much screen real estate but by far the worst thing about Opera Mini is how it renders pages. You have to zoom in to be able to read anything. Going to a news site such as Digg is readable on Safari without zooming in and completely incomprehensible on Opera.

    I was actually looking forward to this release but I already deleted it. The whole tabbed browsing and fast Edge page loads is nice but irrelevant for me and it most definitely doesn't overcome all the negatives. They should have spent more time before releasing this.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2010 2:36 PM
    now that's a surprise!
  • 0 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , April 13, 2010 2:37 PM
    Downloading for Ipod Touch...

    This is something I would like to see more of. It's kind of sad that there are SO many apps out there, but up until recently there really has only been one browser to use. I hope Apple loosens their grip and allows more of this stuff to happen. I also hope they don't remove Opera from the app store after they find out a lot of people are downloading it...
  • -2 Hide
    zoemayne , April 13, 2010 2:51 PM
    now chrome and firefox should do so

    maybe they approved it cause it sucks so much and the fools who are cheap enough to be on an edge network wont be smart enough to download this app.
  • -1 Hide
    Hilarion , April 13, 2010 3:06 PM
    taybTried it out yesterday on my iPod Touch. It sucks. The page caching might be useful if I was on Edge but I don't notice any speed improvements over wi-fi. The menu is clumsy, red, and wastes way too much screen real estate but by far the worst thing about Opera Mini is how it renders pages. You have to zoom in to be able to read anything. Going to a news site such as Digg is readable on Safari without zooming in and completely incomprehensible on Opera. I was actually looking forward to this release but I already deleted it. The whole tabbed browsing and fast Edge page loads is nice but irrelevant for me and it most definitely doesn't overcome all the negatives. They should have spent more time before releasing this.

    I would say that the only reason they approved it then, was to make their own browser look so good that Opera mini would be rejected by the Apple Almighty Sheeple vindicating Apple Almighty's so-called "wisdom" about what to approve.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2010 3:17 PM
    i recall MS recently lost an anti-monopoly law suit with regards bundling web browsers with OS.....
  • 9 Hide
    babybeluga , April 13, 2010 3:21 PM
    This is probably a stunt to piss google off some more.
  • 4 Hide
    counselmancl , April 13, 2010 3:22 PM
    The IPod is filled with the blood of the innocent.
  • 7 Hide
    digiex , April 13, 2010 4:02 PM
    Clue: EU anti-trust law suit.
  • 5 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 13, 2010 4:03 PM
    taybby far the worst thing about Opera Mini is how it renders pages


    Yeah, this pretty much makes it useless unless the site has a good mobile version. It only lets you view the whole page or zoom in fully, no intermediate zoom. Very iritating.

    I actually like the way they've done tabs, and it does seem quite a bit faster to me. If they can fix the zooming / font rendering, I'll definitely start using it.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 13, 2010 4:04 PM
    Oh, and it probably looks better on a screen larger than my iPhone (i.e. iPad).
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , April 13, 2010 4:30 PM
    gm0n3yYeah, this pretty much makes it useless unless the site has a good mobile version. It only lets you view the whole page or zoom in fully, no intermediate zoom. Very iritating.I actually like the way they've done tabs, and it does seem quite a bit faster to me. If they can fix the zooming / font rendering, I'll definitely start using it.


    Are you using cellular connection? Over wi-fi the speed difference was negligible. The tabbed browsing is not bad but it's the entire interface. Takes up way too much screen real estate, is very bland, and it's an obnoxious red. I could definitely live with the interface if they fixed the page rendering but as of right now it's not worth owning.
  • 3 Hide
    gekko668 , April 13, 2010 4:37 PM
    Tried it on my ipod touch and was disappointed because its able to display flash advertisements but not flash content from video streaming websites. :( 
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 13, 2010 4:52 PM
    taybAre you using cellular connection? Over wi-fi the speed difference was negligible. The tabbed browsing is not bad but it's the entire interface. Takes up way too much screen real estate, is very bland, and it's an obnoxious red. I could definitely live with the interface if they fixed the page rendering but as of right now it's not worth owning.


    I'm using a cell connection (at work). I don't find that it takes up much real estate. The only difference between OperaMini and Safari as far as that is concered is the red bar, which I don't find offensive at all. The tabbed browsing takes up space, but only when you are switching tabs and its still better than what Safari has.
  • 4 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , April 13, 2010 4:55 PM
    gekko668Tried it on my ipod touch and was disappointed because its able to display flash advertisements but not flash content from video streaming websites.

    Apple would have never approved the app if it had flash. I doubt Opera is displaying flash advertisements, they are probably just gifs/html5 advertisements that display if the page detects flash isn't installed.

    Not having flash on the iPhone/iPod Touch is probably one of the better choices Apple has made imo. I jailbroke my iPod Touch, and installed Flash and it completely tanked my battery life (and people would be angry at Apple if they claimed a 5 hour battery life and only got 2). Now, Apple blocking Flash CS5's app compiler... thats a different story.
  • 0 Hide
    frozenlead , April 13, 2010 5:20 PM
    gm0n3yYeah, this pretty much makes it useless unless the site has a good mobile version. It only lets you view the whole page or zoom in fully, no intermediate zoom. Very iritating.I actually like the way they've done tabs, and it does seem quite a bit faster to me. If they can fix the zooming / font rendering, I'll definitely start using it.


    The windows mobile version lets you do intermediate zoom...I've had Opera for years and I've always been very happy with it's page rendering. It'll fit text to the screen automatically instead of having to use the touchscreen to scroll all the time..
  • 0 Hide
    athreex , April 13, 2010 5:22 PM
    Quote:
    Those of you with iPhones will know that Apple sometimes rejects useful applications because they perform (or out perform) a similar feature or application offered by Apple on the iPhone.


    Nice news. This little extract is interesting. If Kevin Parrish were in charge of this news, the first statement would be somewhat different. (BTW Mr. Parrish if you're reading this, I'm not saying this in a bashing or criticism way). Indeed, it shows how different we can express news even when writing news about an app's approval. Cheers
  • 1 Hide
    qwed88 , April 13, 2010 5:22 PM
    I tried it yesterday and loved it. I didn't really notice any wasted screen space, I use it in full screen mode any way.
    I really like the way pages move as you drag them with your finger, and I might actually prefer the double tap to zoom, though they do need to add a pinch feature to it too.
    The quick dial page is great.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 13, 2010 5:37 PM
    I just tried out the full screen option, and its pretty cool. Lets you see a bit more. Still useless though since I can't read anything without zooming to full size.
  • -1 Hide
    mycpumelted , April 13, 2010 6:20 PM
    not impressed
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