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Apple Approves Opera Mini For iPhone 284

Posted by kdawson
from the game-is-afoot dept.
andylim writes "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 in less than 24 hours, market by market, as a free download. Here's the download URL for when it goes live."
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Apple Approves Opera Mini For iPhone

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  • Re:Negative reviews? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dingen (958134) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:23AM (#31830010)
    It's available right now from Apple's App Store on every iPhone.
  • Re:Negative reviews? (Score:5, Informative)

    by imamac (1083405) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:23AM (#31830016)
    The summary was sumbitted yesterday...the browser is available now.
  • Re:wtf (Score:5, Informative)

    by Knutsi (959723) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:24AM (#31830032)

    how did opera get this through the app store approval process!?

    Because, as far as I understand, it is not really a browser, but rather a viewer for a remotely processed webpage: http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/17/opera-mini-on-iphone-is-fast-but-why/ [engadget.com]

    It allowed my old Sony Ericsson phone (can't remember which model, but it was not a smartphone) to have a Safari like zoomable web-browser of quite hight quality (:

  • by Knutsi (959723) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:28AM (#31830066)

    And it seems to be incredibly fast. However, incredibly insecure from what I've heard. Also, the iPhone auto-correct for typing does not seem to work.

    I've used it for a few hours now, and It's quite scary in fact. Where does the line go between my phone and Opera's servers that do all the processing? /:

  • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:34AM (#31830102) Homepage

    "Incredibly insecure" is a gross overstatement. Whole traffic between it and Opera servers is encrypted. Only at the point of the proxy there's hypothetical weak point - but really, I'd trust Opera Software. Braking that trust would cost them dearly, they've shown over the years they can be trusted, they come from a place with a somehow better corporate culture...

    Or you can simply not use Opera Mini on the few webpages where the above might matter.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:37AM (#31830128) Homepage

    Where does the line go between my phone and Opera's servers that do all the processing? /:

    It goes through encrypted connection. Encrypted for all pages, at all times.

  • indeed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Herve5 (879674) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:39AM (#31830146)

    Opera Mini is indeed a simple viewer for images remotely calculated on Opera servers.

    This has the advantage of lowering the data transmitted to your phone (actually cost-effective if you are volume-limited), and the disadvantage of providing some unexpected behaviors whenever local things like active buttons etc. are expected to be loaded on your device (I say *some*)

    In fact Opera also offers a full browser, named Opera Mobile, on all sorts of phones (on my Nokia for instance, aside Nok's one), but that one, Mobile, isn't ported on the iPhone. Wonder why ;-)

  • Re:wtf (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:49AM (#31830240)
    how many posts from misinformed people, all considering themselves the Holders of the Truth. (and modded interesting, no less)

    all other apps using browsers are using the webkit rendered to display pages, which is an iphone component, and while apple doesn't force you to use webkit it does forbid you to use any kind of generic interpreters, including the javascript interpreter required for browser to actually work

    opera is the _first_ alternative browser to get published, and it does so not interpreting javascript on the iphone but serving already interpreted web pages (javascript stuff is run on the opera own backend and pages served after collecting the result)

    so before posting your smartass "loads of other browser" opinion, please do some research. there are ton of other gullible people that find you "interesting", and now are as misinformed as you, thanks of the slashdot moderation.
  • by Macthorpe (960048) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:50AM (#31830248) Journal

    Because:

    1) The main Opera browser doesn't operate the same way
    2) You're already trusting everyone except Opera on your list when you browse HTTP anyway, and
    3) Opera warns you that HTTPS transmissions may be insecure the first time you attempt it.

  • Re:wtf (Score:3, Informative)

    by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @08:59AM (#31830330) Homepage

    But that [Facebook app] uses webkit that is built in to iPhone OS.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:01AM (#31830352)

    It's unencrypted too, as far as I recall

    You recall incorrectly. Opera Mini since the "Advanced" 3.0 version use 100% encrypted traffic from proxy to the browser (they are up to version 5.)

    Thats not to say that you get true point-to-point encryption with HTTPS, since that traffic gets unencrypted on the proxy and then re-encrypted with your Mini key.

  • Re:wtf (Score:3, Informative)

    by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:02AM (#31830374) Homepage

    The other browsers on the App Store are simply webkit (Safari browser on iPhone) with a skinned UI.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:06AM (#31830416)

    For thos of us who have used a Mac, the Flash issue is about performance. Have you ever used Flash on OS X? The result would be much the same on the iPhone (given that the core of iPhone OS is the same as OS X), except now there's no 2GHz+ CPU to make it look acceptable and all you have is a little ARM chip and a battery.

    If it was about control then they wouldn't be promoting Flash's replacement for the iPad and iPhone. It really is about performance.

    Don't just take my word for it - google "flash performance OSX" for a vast number of complaints about it. It really is hideous. Not just sluggish, but banging a 2Ghz core at 100% usage for website animations and video streams - ie, it drains the battery on your MacBook Pro rather quickly, and is one of the few things that can get the fans on my iMac to become audible.

    In fact, I just opened the Diablo 3 page and had it sit idle for about a minute or so and then had a quick look at the CPU use. This is a 2GHz Core2Duo, and whether it is that full-site-flash or a youtube video, or BBC iPlayer stream, the CPU usage looks exactly like this:

    http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/4771/flashosxperformance.jpg [imageshack.us]

  • Re:wtf (Score:3, Informative)

    by adamstew (909658) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:34AM (#31830760)

    It does have "tabbed" browsing, in that you can have multiple browsing sessions going at the same time. However, they don't waste valuable screen real estate with a tab bar. In the regular tool bar there is a button that lets you switch between open browsing sessions. You can switch back and forth. Quite quickly.

  • Re:wtf (Score:3, Informative)

    by dc29A (636871) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:38AM (#31830804)

    But what Opera Mini does helps greatly anyway as far as "faster, more pleasant browsing" goes; that's one of its selling points.

    More pleasant? I don't that word means what you think it means. I loaded up GMail on Opera Mini and I almost threw up. You know, I would expect from a browser company that strives for openness and whatnot to at least include a browser capable of doing javascript properly. Oh and yes, it's faster ... because it doesn't have proper javascript support!

    Avoid the waste of time downloading it, Opera Mini is a monkey feces.

  • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:46AM (#31830908)

    It seems subjectively 3-4 times faster on average over wifi than Mobile Safari on my iPhone on several sites I quickly tested. Some sites were only marginally faster (maybe 20% to 40%) at initial loading, but the fact that you can go forward and backward without reloading and re-rendering the entire damned page like Mobile Safari does makes the experience sooooo much faster to skim through a site.

    This is just based on some wifi usage - so mostly CPU and rendering bound stuff, not network traffic bound stuff.

    Haven't tested it out over EDGE very extensively yet. I have an iPhone 3G unlocked, but use T-mobile so I'm stuck at EDGE speeds.

    One other critical observation - seems to burn through battery at about half the rate as heavy Safari browsing does. Again, not particularly surprising.

    2 mins of EDGE usage has me convinced about the back/forward without re-loading thing is a massive advantage in browsing when out of wifi range. Initial loading of some sites is still painfully slow as always with EDGE. But browsing of partially loaded pages is much smoother and actually works, unlike Mobile Safari where it often just hangs while it tries to finish loading a page on EDGE.

    Rendering quality is definitely not as good as Safari in some cases (NYTimes.com, for instance). But it's not bad, and the speedup is generally well worth it.

  • by adamstew (909658) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:47AM (#31830910)

    Agreed. Flash player on windows doesn't have this problem, but Adobe seems to have actually cared about creating a good windows flash player.

    Flash Player on OSX is a resource hog. Adobe just isn't devoting the resources to it to make it work well on OSX. Steve Jobs wasn't kidding when he said that the majority of browser crashes on OSX come from flash. Anytime i've ever experienced safari crashing, it's because of flash.

    Now, if the people at Adobe pulled their thumbs out of their asses and got to work on creating a small, lightweight, and resource efficient flash player for OSX, then Steve might reconsider. Until they do, then i'm glad that it's not on my iPhone.

  • by jacktherobot (1538645) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:50AM (#31830958)

    I just tried it and it's pretty clear why Apple approved it. Opera Mini is so vastly inferior to the built in safari that all of the non-slashdotites who try it will instantly lose any desire they had for alternative browsers.

    Even the nytimes site that is in the default bookmarks is unreadable, and when you try to two-finger zoom in it moves you to some pre-set zoom level that's too far in.

  • by PNutts (199112) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:52AM (#31830982)

    From TFA and two links deep, the NY Times posted this clarification.

    "So I went back to Mr. von Tetzchner for more details. He said that the development of the iPhone browser was more an "internal project" of some engineers than a product that management was committed to introducing. Indeed, development was halted after the company looked at the details of the license agreement in Apple's software development kit and realized that it would not be permitted.
    " 'We stopped the work because of the prohibitive license," Mr. von Tetzchner wrote in an e-mail message.' "

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/03/why-you-will-not-see-opera-on-your-iphone/ [nytimes.com]

    The rejection was an assumption. Now you even know more.

  • Re:wtf (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:55AM (#31831034) Journal

    You know, I would expect from a browser company that strives for openness and whatnot to at least include a browser capable of doing javascript properly.

    They do - it's called Opera Mobile, which isn't on the Iphone. Opera Mini is written to run on all phones, even locked down feature phones. Their Opera Mobile for smart phones has full support.

  • by WizarDru (1695812) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:01AM (#31831098)
    But if you actually follow the articles, you'll find the following: "The discussion has been raging about how Opera came to know that its software wasn’t going to be welcomed by Apple. In particular, iPhone fans wanted to know if the company submitted a fully working version of Opera to the iPhone App Store. So I went back to Mr. von Tetzchner for more details. He said that the development of the iPhone browser was more an “internal project” of some engineers than a product that management was committed to introducing. Indeed, development was halted after the company looked at the details of the license agreement in Apple’s software development kit and realized that it would not be permitted. “We stopped the work because of the prohibitive license,” Mr. von Tetzchner wrote in an e-mail message. In other words, they read the license and decided that Apple would not allow it without actually talking to Apple.
  • Re:Kudos to Opera (Score:3, Informative)

    by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:30AM (#31831430)

    I take the point - but for antitrust issues to apply, Apple would have to have a monopoly on phones

    No, European antitrust legislation applies to any "activity that aims to prevent, restrict or distort competition". It is not necessary for a company to be in a monopoly position for those conditions to be true.

    Equally, it could also be argued that Apple has a monopoly on iPhone app stores, in order to show that they could exert undue control over what should be a freely competitive market.

    It's not a huge leap to conclude that if Apple exploits their position as owner of the iPhone OS and app store to disadvantage their competitors who want to release iPhone apps, then those competitors are going to cry foul.

  • Re:wtf (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:57AM (#31831942) Homepage

    Realize that they made a big sacrifice to make it happen... In order to meet the App Store requirements, there is no local JavasScript execution. It's entirely server-side. While this is nice from a performance perspective (everything is downloaded/processed server-side and then sent over the slow cell network in one compressed chunk), it's severely limiting from a functionality perspective.

    Opera Mobile could never make it through the app store with the current terms of service in place; the JS engine makes it ineligible.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:07AM (#31832146)

    The core APIs required to do all this are all right there in OS X and are documented - other plugin makers can do it just fine (and On2 even did it with Flash itself with their in-program flash player for checking the flash video encodes you just made).

    This is not Apple's fault - their documentation is extensive.

    Quicktime itself does not hardware accelerate H.264 (except on the 9400M GPU) in OS X and it plays things just fine at low CPU load. This is not about hardware acceleration or access to private APIs, its just crappy code.

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