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Iphone Opera Software Apple

Opera Mini For iPhone Reviewed 240

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the at-least-the-price-is-right dept.
Stoobalou writes "Everyone was mightily surprised when Apple allowed Opera entry to the iTunes App store, but there's one very good reason for the change of heart. Opera Mini for iPhone is not very good." I tried it for a little while, and the one thing that I really liked is how insanely fast switching tabs was.
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Opera Mini For iPhone Reviewed

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  • Unfair Comparison (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#31843904) Journal

    Opera Mini is intended to run on all phones (even locked down feature phones... and the Iphone). A fairer review would simply review Opera Mini, and take this into account - but of course, it only gets coverage on Slashdot if it's "For the Iphone".

    For smart phones, Opera have Opera Mobile which is an excellent browser. Will the Iphone be able to run it?

    Even on smart phones, Opera Mini is useful sometimes if you need low bandwidth usage. But it's never intended to be a replacement browser for phones that already have a better browser.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:07AM (#31843934)

    Common belief is that it is really because it will allow third parties to develop apps in Flash and deploy them on the web (potentially even downloading them to the iPhone), thus bypassing the App Store and Apple's cut of the money.

    That makes no sense because they are pushing HTML5 which allows the same thing (didn't Google come out with Google Voice in January to bypass the App Store?)

    They also showcased the netflix app for iPad/iPhone and that would seem to cost iTunes money for videos.

    The conspiracy theory doesn't add up.

  • Even on smart phones, Opera Mini is useful sometimes if you need low bandwidth usage. But it's never intended to be a replacement browser for phones that already have a better browser.

    So you're saying it sucks as a browser, and it's unfair to review it as a browser, because it's not intended to be a good browser? What? Exactly on what basis should it be reviewed?

    It's a browser. If I'm reading a review of a browser, then I expect to read a review about how good it is as a browser. If it sucks, then it sucks.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:28AM (#31844080) Homepage

    It's quite a different kind of browser; and yet seems to be revieved on more or less the same terms to Safari.

    To see why that's rather unfair - reverse the situation. Review Safari in scenarios that favor Opera Mini (yes, disregarding that Opera Mini runs fine also on "feature phones" with j2me). Like when you have really sucky connection, without even full "advertised" EDGE speeds. Suddenly Safary doesn't look so good. And Opera Mini becomes most usefull (as a bonus it has a real chance of conservng battery somewhat)

    That's why it's good to keep it on the phone (any phone, if Mini is available for it) "just in case", IMHO; even you normally prefer full browser.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:29AM (#31844088)

    Common belief is that it is really because it will allow third parties to develop apps in Flash and deploy them on the web (potentially even downloading them to the iPhone), thus bypassing the App Store and Apple's cut of the money.

    What?!?

    Commoners appear to be idiots. Apple not only supports Web apps developed in HTML5, but their support for them surpasses most browser vendors. Then Apple allows free application through their store, and Apple pays for all the bandwidth fees on them. Apple's revenue numbers show the App store makes what 1-2% of Apple's revenue compared to the 40% of their revenue from hardware sales of iPods and iPhones. So the common belief is that Apple is willing to make fewer sales in the part of their company that makes all the money by making those products worse, in order to make more money on the part that makes basically nothing and which the CEO has stated is run at near zero profit in order to promote other products. So your "common belief" requires Apple business people to be complete morons who are also lying to shareholders and risking investigation from the SEC.

    Seriously, even a freshman business student could tell you the Apps are blades and Apple's model is clearly to make money on the razor. It makes no sense to make it harder for people to provide blades, because Apple runs their blade business just to promote their very, very profitable razor (hardware) business.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sribe (304414) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:31AM (#31844104)

    Common belief is that it is really because it will allow third parties to develop apps in Flash and deploy them on the web (potentially even downloading them to the iPhone), thus bypassing the App Store and Apple's cut of the money.

    Really? If that's the case, then common belief is deluded.

    After all, if that's Apple's big fear, then why do they do such a good, and constantly improving, job of supporting the very standards that "allow third parties to develop apps ... and deploy them on the web..., thus bypassing the App Store and Apple's cut of the money"??? Hmm. Two ways to allow third parties to develop apps and run them on iPhones without going through the app store, one way via standards and under Apple's control, one way via a proprietary system not under Apple's control and which on the Mac for many years was a steaming pile of constantly-crashing junk. Maybe their goal is to keep crashing junk off the iPhone. Maybe their goal is to limit iPhone apps to ones that support multi-touch and do not depend on mouse-overs.

    Personally, I had never even heard that belief--I suspect it's only among Flash developers who seem to daily come up with a new crazy explanation when the rational one is in front of their face the whole time but they just cannot accept it.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:41AM (#31844190)

    ...thus bypassing the App Store and Apple's cut of the money.

    That makes no sense because they are pushing HTML5 which allows the same thing

    It is not about the money, it is about the control. With HTML5, Apple can still control what is done on the device because only their own Safari can actually display it. They can still change the rules on a whim to disallow certain things being done on their phones. They also know that nobody else can slip in some undocumented API allowing unauthorised scripting on the phone.

    Although Apple's attitude reeks of paranoia, I do have some sympathy for them wanting to ban Flash. After all, it is the biggest security hole on virtually every platform on which it runs.

  • by AaxelB (1034884) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:43AM (#31844206)

    Since Opera's proxy servers do the actual rendering of the page, anything that's accessed via https has to be decrypted by Opera's servers, then re-encrypted and sent back to the user (ala man-in-the-middle).

    If you don't trust Opera not to spy on your data, why in the hell would you trust them not to spy when you use https in their normal browser? You're always forced to place trust in your browser to keep things encrypted and secure; using their proxies is approximately the same amount of trust. If you're worried about them caching sensitive pages on their servers, that's somewhat more valid (even if you trust them, they could be hacked, say), but still not a very strong argument.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:47AM (#31844250) Journal

    Bah.

    I've heard this "Opera browser isn't very good" refrain for awhile now, but what it really boils down to is: "I am used to using XYZ therefore if it doesn't use the same menu as XYZ, it must be inferior." When I first started using Opera it un-nerved me too, but now I'm used to it, and apparently 100 million other Opera users are too.

    There's no simple way of transferring you Safari bookmarks to the new Mini browser

    True however you can transfer bookmarks from your desktop PC to your iPhone, and viceversa, by using features like MyOpera (online home page). Safari cannot.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @08:49AM (#31844276)

    However the confusing part is that they allow the browser to use CSS, Javascript and even some HTML 5 components, thus making web based applications...

    If they could find a way to prevent this without utterly breaking the entire web or ending up looking like the Devil himself, I’m sure they would.

    Umm, their original plan was to only support Web apps as the official API. They added native APIs because so many people wanted them and because Web apps did not perform as well as Apple liked. Saying they would ban Web apps, when that was the foundation of their business plan, reeks of ignorance.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:07AM (#31844462) Homepage

    Last I checked, there weren't any backdoors in closed software I use that allow developer employees access to my data.

    (fixed your quote bit)
    And how do you know that? On what grounds you're putting this trust in most of the closed software you use? (heck, also open one...did you make sure all your binaries are fine? Do you trust all eyes looking at the code? The compiler?)

    Plus there are organisational ways to deal with hypothetical BOFHs. Also, don't forget where is the HQ of Opera Software, consider they're likely to approach their users differently than typical corp you're used to; and that there are plenty of hands in the cookie jar already.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:10AM (#31844490) Journal

    I know I'm going to get modded to hell for being a pedantic fanboi, but it's "iPhone" - lowercase "i", uppercase "P".

    Well, since you ask, I'll explain my reasoning. It's a proper noun, and I'm writing English - so I write "Iphone". Write "iPhone" if you prefer, but that's a matter of preference. (I've also seen "IPhone" sometimes used by people.)

    "iPhone" is the stylised trademark representation. Since I'm writing prose rather than an Apple advert, I don't write it that way, just as I don't write "Toys R Us" with a backwards "R", or sing "ding-dong-ding-dong" everytime I write "Intel".

    I also note for other trademarks that have odd capitalisation, such as all lowercase or all uppercase, people tend to ignore these. E.g., "Adidas" rather than "adidas"; "Time" rather than "TIME". I'm not sure why an exception should be made for Apple.

    Yes, I agree with the rest of your post. But I also don't see why it should simply be only revieweed "For Iphone", when it runs on all phones. It's inferior to the Iphone's browser - as well as Symbian's, and browsers for many other high end phone. But it's superior to browsers on a wide range of dirt cheap low end phones (at least, it was a few years ago, things have presumably improved - though I imagine Opera Mini still compares well to them).

  • by forand (530402) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:30AM (#31844712) Homepage
    I find it amusing that you post that "only their own Safari can actually display" HTML5 on the iPhone in this thread discussing the acceptance of a different browser onto the iPhone/iPad.
  • Re:Not very good? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ash Vince (602485) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:09AM (#31845210) Journal

    Although Apple's attitude reeks of paranoia, I do have some sympathy for them wanting to ban Flash.

    There is another problem with allowing flash, it is a very flexible platform that will allow you to put insane load on the processor. That would allow a cross platform benchmark that would very quickly reveal exactly how slow the iPhone processor really is.

    The reason they keep the exact specs of the iPhone processor under wraps is that they know it does not compare favourably to the competition. This is not actually a problem though if you can control how people interact with the CPU and ensure it is not overloaded by doing things like running to many applications at once or stupid flash based junk.

    One of the reason that Apple have been so successful is by being careful exactly what information they release about each product. The first generation iPhones suffered lag issues in the same way as the early HTC Hero's. This was subsequently fixed by a software update just like the Hero. In the case of the Hero people could find out the CPU spec and then whine about how under powered it was even though it was not really the main thing causing the lag anyway.

    Quite often when bringing a hardware and software based device to market people have a habit of reading too much into benchmarks of the hardware even though this often misleading. By writing very clever software you can do an awful lot with even the most underpowered hardware. If you think back to what you could get out of early computers like the Amiga or Atari (512K versions) then this should come as no surprise.

    I have a sneaky feeling that if HTML5 falls by the wayside then we may see flash on the iPhones that get multitasking support since we already know that not every iPhone is destined to get this.

  • by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#31845698) Journal
    This is the problem with Linux...an application should not be controlling the interface above the rules if the platform. Telling confused users to "use it the way it's meant to be used" turns people off. Not standarizing interface guidelines ruins user experience. This is why the iPhone is doing well. This is why it is 2010 and still not the year of the Linux desktop. Apple has a standard guideline for human interfaces. Opera Mini did not comply. Opera Mini has lost. The end user has lost. But you get to feel a few seconds of self satisfaction :)
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @11:03AM (#31845934) Journal

    Isn't Opera Mini for resource starved mobile devices that have a hard time rendering and dealing with semi-complex web pages on the device directly?

    It is, but it is also for slow connections - it seems that OBML compresses better than HTML (not surprising, given that it's binary to begin with, and it also doesn't have all that JS in it), and then also they apply lossy compression to the images on Mini servers.

    Personally, I find that I rarely use it on Android, and mostly rely on the primary browser instead - but when 3G isn't around, or when roaming (when data rates go through the roof), it's good to have Mini around. And it's free.

  • Re:Not very good? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @11:29AM (#31846332)
    Thank you - finally someone who sees the real reasoning behind both the lack of multi-tasking and the lack of Flash. Oh, sure, they don't want people eating their App store pie but there are many other ways they can control that, but what this really boils down to is wanting to compete with the much more powerful smart phones without ponying up the dough for a faster processor (either because the iPhone is costing Apple a lot to make - doubtful if people like HTC can give higher specs for the same or lower costs - or more likely so Apple can keep a larger share of the profits while appearing competitively priced, because the average Joe doesn't realise he's being sold a Porsche kit car with a Fiesta engine, he just sees the shiny exterior).
  • Re:Hogwash (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Steve Max (1235710) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @12:02PM (#31846710) Journal

    The iPhone's raison d'être is to make Apple more money. Anything it may offer is just a way to make that happen.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.

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