Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market.
I tried it and think I'm going to use it instead of the Safari browser. Initially I didn't like the small rendering of text when a page loads at first. But then I realized it was actually more efficient at zooming in and out by simply touching the area you want to read, instead of having to pinch it in and out. Very cool.
Plus it rendered the sections of the pages way more readable than Safari.
The tabbed browsing is awesome. The speed was killer. And I love how it does not refresh a page automatically when you jump from tab to tab. That annoyed me so much on Safari, since it would take 10-20 seconds sometimes to reload a page just when you wanted tab back to it.
No problem with forms here. I use forms to edit pages on my site(s). Worked great.
Is it possible Apple may actually be grateful to Opera for their stance on Browser choice. It was Opera who pretty much started the ball rolling in the EU, and this would have gained Apple Safari more usage under Microsoft Windows. Perhaps allowing Opera into the App market was more of a corporate handshake.
Tap to zoom in Opera Mini only zooms to one scale and back down again,. Essentially it is limited to only 2 views. Small and 100%. Safari can zoom right in and down in any increment you choose.
I think that's the thing we are forgetting. This isn't a fully fledged browser on a mobile device, as Safari is, it's a mobile optimised browser (hence the 'Mini'), with all the advantages (speed) and disadvantages that brings.
I notice that it seems to use it's own copy and paste functionality (which is also unusably broken). This doesn't seem like a finished product at all.
It is far better for some sites than Safari, when using 3G. Probably partly due to it lacking the ability to get bogged down by Adsense and other things which Safari tries to load. From that point of view, it's great to have around. It's not a Safari replacement yet though.
Opera mini uses server side compression, thats why its quicker than most conventional mobile browsers. When you request a page, your request is sent to Opera's servers. The servers then make the http request for the content, compress it and return the compressed format to your browser.
You can more or less visualize the process by looking at the status bar.. Very slow to begin with then it speeds up.