My wager: Apple will never let a competitor’s web browser into the App Store, cost me a particularly good horse. I may be the only one not happy about the debut of Opera Mini Web Browser. Had you met Hillie, the pony-horse, you’d be equally upset.
It’s small consolation that in her place is the only current alternative to Apple’s one-horse webkit monopoly lead by iPhone Safari. Opera Mini is cute; it has all the pertinent functions in easy-to-reach places and better in-app settings than iPhone Safari. It also generally handles website formatting better than good ol’ WebKit and has a lovely implementation of tabbed browsing. Overall, it’s a ‘good’ experience which would bring in a TouchMyApps rating of Grab. In some cases, it loads slower than Safari and iPhone OS controls are substituted for blocky, oddly-placed alternatives _almost_ as if Opera Software ASA wanted nothing more than to spite Apple for its two-year boycott of NIMBY* software. But it is worthwhile, especially if you find yourself at the mercy of mobile browsers more often than not. Feel free to discuss Opera Mini Web browser VS Safari in our forums.
Piccies and more in-action deductions (whew!) after the gap:
Safari haters, enjoy something differet; Apple lovers, show off your new, ‘open’ iPhone. Ultimately, neither Opera nor Safari are perfect, but now, Opera is the new kid in town and that, my friends, is what will make it crash Apple’s download servers. The 2nd horse in town — or in my case, the horse substitute — will grab headlines and fans for that very reason.
On the other hand, Apple owe me a horse. They had better pull up their socks and make the next iteration of Safari impressive as this old boy is heading to the theatre to get his mobile internet fix. But in Apple’s case, it will take iPhone OS 4.0 to bring Safari up to spec to the new kid in town.
Other than horse jokes, something else is funny: Opera Mini Web browser’s debut is the first time Apple’s rice ‘n beans software has had competition. Most VS articles and headlines depend on typical muscle-bound comparisons of two or more hardware platforms. The most famous of these is Apple/Google debate which is topped by hyperbolic nonsense. The two will have their fans; hardware spec comparisons are about as exciting as frontal lobotomies, and twice as hateful to read.
This time, the same device, which hitherto has been hung up on one browser, gets exploited by two surfing platforms. Of course, Apple and Opera also have their philosophical differences. Apple’s success rides the rail of proprietary hardware and excellent software integration while Opera, an eternally free browser, relies on flexibility. Proprietary VS flexibility. Each philosophy has its strengths.
Apple’s has kept the iPhone, an often out-spec’d machine at the hub of mobile app/game development since its market inception. The iPhone works within few constraints the same from iteration to iteration. There’s no worry that software which works on the original iPhone won’t work on the iPhone 3GS.
Opera, like Firefox, relies on ubiquity. It vagabonds itself across platforms, calling attention to the deficiencies of more popular browsing applications such as Safari, Firefox, and even Microsoft’s torpid Internet Explorer. Currently, the flexible Opera beats the native Safari in a number of areas and is a welcome addition to the App Store.
Horse or no horse, the sunset I am looking to ride off into will probably lead the sultry voice of a fat lady. Thank you Opera.
About Opera Mini Web Browser
Get a fast, cost-efficient Web browsing experience. Use our powerful servers to compress data by up to 90% before sending it to your iPhone, so page-loads are lightning fast. Opera Mini is a breeze to use, and can synchronize data between your phone and computer.
Some great features of Opera Mini:
- Speed Dial gets you to your favorite Web sites with a single tap.
- An address field with auto-completion means you type less.
- Tabs allow for multitasking with several Web pages.
- Bookmarks can be easily managed and accessed.
Try Opera Mini today; it is completely free.
*NIMBY – Not In My BackYard – is a whole load of software which Apple have plum rejected or skipped on by because it just ain’t Apple. Feel free to discuss Opera Mini Web browser VS Safari in our forums.
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