Opera to show off Opera Mini browser for iPhone

Opera Software plans to reveal Opera Mini for iPhone in an exclusive press and partner preview during the 2010 Mobile World Congress (MWC). Visit Opera’s exhibit in Hall 1, C44, to witness a new way to surf the Web on the iPhone — an experience that Opera promises will be fast, easy to use, and packed with favorite Opera features.

With desktop features in its arsenal, such as tabs, Speed Dial and the password manager, Opera Mini is designed with usability in mind.

“We are thrilled to offer journalists and partners an exclusive preview of Opera Mini for iPhone during the year’s biggest mobile event,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software, in the press release. “This is a unique opportunity to introduce the fast, feature-rich Opera Mini experience for the iPhone, and to showcase our latest beta releases of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on other platforms and devices. Opera’s mission is to bring the Web to the world, and by making Opera Mini available on yet another platform, we are one step closer.”

Currently, Opera Mini for iPhone is not publicly available.

More info here.

Source: Opera Software

13 Comments

  1. Unless the iPhone developer terms have changed, this has to be a custom use of Webkit with Opera branding. Would be more interesting if it wasn’t, but most likely it’s just Safari Mobile with tabs.

  2. @ zmarc – From what I understand, Opera Mini does some rendering/processing on Opera’s servers, and provides simplified webpage code to the mobile device. I’m not sure who exactly would want this, when we already have Mobile Safari’s full-fledged webpage support, unless Opera are worried about being ignored:

    http://wapreview.com/blog/?p=6354

    According to this reviewer, Opera Mini is “popular everywhere”, yet nobody seems to test with it. If it really is as popular as the numbers this person claims, don’t you think somebody else would have complained about this by now? Or perhaps the flaw is on Opera’s side, with the preprocessing they do on their own servers, rather than how the webpage is coded? Either way, I’m a bit skeptical of the claims presented there.

  3. @ Gabriel
    I thought that had that off-site rendering things eons ago, back when iPhone first came out. I remember hearing about it back then. Maybe it wasn’t an actual released product, though. I never tried to try it. I thought this was something new.

  4. “Opera’s mission is to bring the Web to the world, and by making Opera Mini available on yet another platform, we are one step closer.”

    Um, I think Apple has already accomplished this with the release of the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and soon to be released iPad. Thanks for playing Opera!

  5. I had an HTC Verizon Touch Pro 2 running Opera as the main browser. It was virtually unusable. Touch links and nothing happens, pages you didn’t request would open by themselves, and it was SLOW, SLOW, SLOW; limited to a max of two pages. What a train wreck. I’m sure Windows Mobile didn’t help. That experience pushed me off Verizon onto the iphone.

  6. @ zmarc

    I’m not sure how the iPhone version of Opera Mini will work, but the fact that they’re being coy about it suggests that they’re banking on people being curious about it, given Apple’s SDK restrictions. My money’s still on server-side rendering on Opera’s side, if only because I can’t see them swallowing their pride (or their technology investments) and using WebKit.

    @ Original Jake

    iCab Mobile is an absolutely fantastic browser, offering you control over stuff Safari doesn’t let you have control over – search engine selections, ad blocking, etc. I highly recommend it.

  7. John Gruber wrote about Opera Mini back in 2008 (as well as the distinction between Opera Mini and Opera Mobile). So unless there’s something significantly new about the upcoming version of Opera Mini, I can’t see that there’s anything to get excited about.

    http://daringfireball.net/2008/11/opera_app_store

    Rather than a web browser that interacts with web sites directly, Opera Mini goes through proxy servers run by Opera.

    In a nut, it works like this: You request a URL in Opera Mini. Opera Mini makes the request to a proxy server run by Opera. Opera’s proxy server connects to the web server hosting the requested URL, and renders the page into an image. This image is then transmitted (in a proprietary format called OBML — Opera Binary Markup Language) to the Opera Mini client. Opera Mini displays the rendered image on screen.

    […]

    Opera Mini is really only a thin client that knows how to display OBML. It doesn’t even render HTML, let alone contain a full JavaScript interpreter. […] OBML is more like PDF than HTML. So in theory, I think a version of Opera Mini that complies with the iPhone SDK Agreement could be developed.

  8. @acid

    I’ve never had any CSS issue in Opera, ever.

    Opera’s CSS rendering is quite remarkable, in my opinion. As a web developer, I almost never test in Opera while working on a project. I imagine that’s true of most web developers: Opera’s market share is too small to justify putting time and effort into it. And yet every one of my websites works in Opera without any CSS issues.

    As long as the CSS works in Firefox and IE, it works in Opera. It’s like the Opera team knows no one is testing with their browser, so they put extra effort to make sure CSS works regardless.

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