Updated: Opera Mini iPhone app approved by Apple, now #1 free app

Xavier Verhoeven
13 April, 2010
View more articles fromthe author

Opera has announced that their Opera Mini iPhone browser, a competitor to Apple’s own Safari app, has been approved for sale on the App Store.

The benefits of Opera Mini over Safari can be seen in a YouTube video speed test that shows webpages loading much quicker than in Apple’s browser. Opera Mini enables this faster browsing through compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending the content to the phone. From the YouTube clip, it does indeed look to make the experience a whole lot quicker – but also means all browser data is going through Opera’s servers, which may pose privacy issues for some. Another benefit to the compression should be reduced data throughput, saving you from going over your precious monthly allowance.

“We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. “This app is another step toward Opera’s goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places.” The press release claims that the Opera Mini brower already has 50 million users worldwide, but it’s anyone’s guess how many iPhone users might jump on the bandwagon.

Opera Mini is available now for iPhone and iPod touch as a free download from the App Store.

Update (15 April): Opera Mini has proved a particularly popular app (after receiving a lot of media coverage), surging to the top of the free app charts in most App Stores around the world.

I’ve played around with the app for a while, and find that Opera’s claims that it is fast are indeed true. It’s quicker than Safari to load up most sites on my iPhone 3G, and navigation and scrolling are generally pretty good. Its rendering of webpages is a let-down, however, with Safari almost always looking clearer and truer to the desktop version of sites. This may be a result of the compression Opera implements, so can have its advantages, but is not the best way to browse the web on the go. But it does the trick if you’re in a hurry or have nearly reached your monthly download quota and still need to do some browsing.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us