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Opera Mini Not Rejected From iPhone (Yet) 202

Posted by kdawson
from the fat-lady-sings dept.
danaris writes in to inform us that John Gruber has done some digging on the reported rejection from the App Store of Opera Mini, and has written up his findings. Some choice excerpts: "My understanding, based on information from informed sources who do not wish to be identified because they were not authorized by their employers, is that Opera has developed an iPhone version of Opera Mini — but they haven't even submitted it to Apple, let alone had it be rejected. ... If what they've done for the iPhone is [to get] a Java ME runtime running on the iPhone — it's clearly outside the bounds of the iPhone SDK Agreement. ... What Opera would need to do to have a version of Opera Mini they could submit to the App Store would be to port the entire client software to the C and Objective-C APIs officially supported on the iPhone. It could well be that even then, Apple would reject it from the App Store on anti-competitive grounds — but contrary to this week's speculation, that has not happened."
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Opera Mini Not Rejected From iPhone (Yet)

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  • first post (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:45PM (#25599427)

    Fuck Apple and the iPhone, cuz I've got the FP!!!!

    PS
    OPERA > ALL

  • Not Allowed (Score:3, Informative)

    by hax0r_this (1073148) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:07PM (#25599571)
    The SDK Agreement fairly explicitly disallows third party web rendering engines:

    No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).

    On an unrelated note, I wish Apple would spend less time making absurd rules like that and more time making their developer site actually work. It took me nearly 20 minutes just to manage to log in to view the SDK Agreement.

  • Re:Why... (Score:3, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:07PM (#25599575) Homepage Journal

    Correction to myself. I misunderstood what the author was saying. He was saying that Opera Mini is a JavaME browser, not that anything other than Opera Mini is a JavaME browser. My mistake.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @11:07PM (#25599871)

    #1 in the smart phone market still only gets you a few percent market share... they needn't worry anytime soon about anti-trust.

    That's like saying that search related advertising is only a small portion of the overall ad industry and therefore Google need not worry about making a deal with Yahoo.

  • Re:Why... (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @11:56PM (#25600101) Homepage Journal

    See, that's also confusing. When you have a fully featured browser already in the phone, why compete with a substandard browser that's incapable of surfing anything more than static sites?

    I can clearly see that you've never used Opera Mini. I've used Opera Mini to read and post on Slashdot. It works just fine.

  • Re:Why... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Sunday November 02, 2008 @03:01AM (#25600941) Journal

    Even if you view this as anti-competitive, it's perfectly ok for Apple to be anti-competitive unless they have a monopoly in the relevant market (ie: phones).

    They don't, so it's fine. Microsoft did, so it was a problem.

    Hope that clears things up...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:38AM (#25601339)

    Much of John Gruber's site is an apology journal for Apple's less reasonable activity. When he doesn't have a concrete argument, he resorts to specious hand-waving; when his hands are tired out, he resorts to whispers from "sources". He's the worst sort of evangelist - he's on full warp not when he's giving praise for Apple, but when he's insulting some individual or group he disagrees with.

    I am typing this from my primary workstation, an iMac. I think OS X is a fine mainstream operating system. But I don't think Apple are a particularly stellar corporation. I heartily recommend people actually read a few articles from Gruber's daringfireball.net [daringfireball.net] to analyse the fallacies in his reasoning otherwise. Frustrated by his words, you may wish to respond on his site, but be warned: like any zealot, he sees opposition as justification for his mission. At best, you'll be ignored; at worst, something you say will be the subject of a mocking article.

    An practitioner earns his reputation in some field - as genius, mediocre, or buffoon - and Gruber has, by his site, earnt the third label.

  • by iZarKe (1398625) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @05:47AM (#25601363)

    If what they've done for the iPhone is [to get] a Java ME runtime running on the iPhone

    Opera Mini has already been ported to non-Java version(s), stated by haavard here [opera.com], referring to a Opera press release [opera.com] from as far back as 2007. Gruber speculates [daringfireball.net] that it's because a JavaScript intepreter would clearly break with the SDK Agreement, however as seen in this interview [linuxdevices.com], Opera Mini doesn't have to interpret JavaScript at all, nor render web pages - this can all be done on the servers.

  • by ubernostrum (219442) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @07:51AM (#25601687) Homepage

    Gruber will come up with a justification even if Steve Jobs urinates in his face and shits on his head.

    Hmm... this would be the same Gruber who wrote that the App Store's exclusion of applications which "compete with" Apple's own offerings is "seriously wrong [daringfireball.net]"? The one who said (same link) that "[i]f this is truly Apple's policy, it's a disaster for the platform"? The same Gruber who said, of Apple's policies, "they shouldn't be doing this [daringfireball.net]"? The same Gruber who said of Apple's inscrutable rejections of applications which violate no SDK guidelines that "[r]ules you disagree with are frustrating. Rules you don't know about are scary [daringfireball.net]"?

    Is that the Gruber you're talking about here?

  • by AardvarkCelery (600124) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:48AM (#25601865)

    Well, suffice it to say that people have a variety of opinions on this. I bought an iPhone (mainly due to some work-related reasons).

    Safari, and the lack of an Opera option, were the main reason I really wanted to go with a Blackberry and NOT buy the iPhone. IMHO, Safari is great for making iPhone commercials that look cool, but in terms of usability, it has some serious problems, mainly that you cannot change the size of the text, independent of the layout. So, if I zoom in to make the text readable, then I have to constantly scroll right, and then left, and then right, and then left, and then right, and so on. Opera handles this much more gracefully, albeit with less glamour. Another problem with Safari on iPhone is that it crashes every few minutes. It is extremely unstable. Furthermore, Safari on iPhone doesn't let me sync my bookmarks and other things that would be awfully nice to have on iPhone.

    I'm happy if you (and others) enjoy Safari and don't think these shortcomings are important to you, but personally I'd love to have some viable option, preferably Opera.

  • by earlymon (1116185) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @09:49AM (#25602165) Homepage Journal

    Thanks - and by the way, I admitted my ignorance, the clueless tag was not required.

    So, to smarten up over here, I went over to Apple and started to apply as an iPhone developer. However, as I could not in honesty list my company as being part of all that, and not being an out and out liar, I couldn't complete the free developer application. Neither did I want to invent one to go to all that trouble and end up with an NDA problem.

    So, I can't access the free SDK nor its terms and conditions that way. However, the ever-friendly Google led me to a MacNN article that led me to http://developer.apple.com/iphone/terms/registered_iphone_developer.pdf [apple.com] - the REGISTERED IPHONE DEVELOPER AGREEMENT.

    Now, I've RTFA (A for agreement) - and either I'm just more clueless than ever or you are.

    By the way, the IDA was modified very recently and the NDA was relaxed - http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/08/10/01/apple.drops.iphone.nda/ [ipodnn.com]

    Nowhere does the agreement state that you can't develop apps that compete with Apple's apps.

    Nowhere does it state that your apps may only be distributed via the Apple Store.

    Now, I freely acknowledge that having product at the Apple Store for the iPhone is highly beneficial, but restricting the Store is not anti-competitive. And it's not clear to me that the only vector for app distritribution for an iPhone is the Apple Store. But restraining one's place of business to not distribute competing products is simply not an anti-competitive practice.

    Unless you consider the Ford Motor Company anti-competitive because Ford doesn't sell Chevies.

    Now, it was time to put up or shut up and I've put up, AC, so it's your turn - kindly point us all at a reference where we can objectively judge these "anti-competitive rules in their SDK license agreements" that everyone seems to just know all about.

    And for the other ACs who want to jack off calling me a fanboi - I'm not an iPhone fan and I don't own one. Get a life.

  • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:35PM (#25603125)

    Not the original coward, but they're probably talking about the SDK agreement (supposedly still under NDA I think - pah).

    The SDK agreement disallows various things, including

    1. Running interpreted code
    2. Running any executable code outside your app binary not provided by Apple
    3. Downloading extra features/functionality (in fact much of the software already accepted violates this one in that it downloads data, but Apple have chosen to look the other way).

    What it does not say is that they reserve the right to remove your app if it competes with them.

    Apple are feeding all this speculation with their pointless NDA on the SDK agreement, so I guess it's partly their fault.

    Anyway, this device is locked down tight, and yes, the only vector for app distribution (if you want to ever get anything on the official store, and not rely on users cracking their phone) is via Apple, as spelled out in this agreement (NB it is not the one you linked to)

    You can't bundle libraries (save by compiling into a monolithic binary), you can't use plugins, you can't interpret code (though what they mean by code I'm not sure, since this could disallow all kinds of things - many kinds of data are close to code).

    So writing a browser which doesn't use the javascript interpreter from Apple would appear to be out of bounds. As would games which use scripting files written in lua for example. Which is a real shame as it limits what people can do for no good reason.

    Presumably Apple has done this to prevent people porting java apps, but it's more than a little heavy handed. They could allow java apps and still not allow any other distribution mechanism. I prefer native apps, but the limitations on loading other code make it difficult to do certain things, and more difficult to port software from other platforms than it should be.

    This restriction on interpreted and/or bundled code is putting a severe crimp on which apps are developed (along with the bizarre decisions on which apps get accepted and which don't), and Apple deserve to be called out on it.

    Now perhaps they're not breaking any competition laws (I seriously doubt it myself), but they are hurting their reputation with their customers and developers, as they did when they introduced the iPhone at a developers conference and said 'We have a really sweet solution for development on the phone - web apps'. Treating your developers and customers as a necessary evil is not a good way to earn respect long-term.

  • Re:Why... (Score:3, Informative)

    by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @04:06PM (#25604691) Journal
    Except Opera Mini is much, much better if you pay per MB or your network connection is slow. Stuff is typically compressed 80-90% or so.
  • Re:Why... (Score:4, Informative)

    by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @04:13PM (#25604743) Journal

    Opera Mini is faster because it gets highly compressed data. It's also a lot cheaper if you pay per MB.

    It doesn't make any sense. Unless it's a publicity stunt. That's the only answer that makes a lick of sense.

    Nope. Opera Mini actually has a place on the iPhone because it offers something truly unique with its compression. That makes it cheaper and faster than Safari for a lot of people. And besides, Opera Mini was ported to C/C++ more than a year ago, and considering that Opera Software makes a living porting browsers, there's no reason to doubt that it was ported.

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