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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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  • I thought Apple's reason for disallowing Flash apps was that they weren't very good. Now it's allowing Opera Mini because it isn't very good? Do I detect a little reverse justification going on somewhere?
    • Re:Not very good? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:03AM (#31843908)

      Apple's stated justification for not allowing Flash is that it'll drain the battery and so give a poor user experience.

      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.

      *Stoobalou's* stated justification for Apple allowing Opera Mini on the iPhone is that it's not very good; Apple has said no such thing.

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

        by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:07AM (#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.

        • by Anonymusing (1450747) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:20AM (#31844022)

          The conspiracy theory doesn't add up.

          They usually don't, except to the conspiracy theorists.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          (didn't Google come out with Google Voice in January to bypass the App Store?)

          Do you mean HTML5 google voice? That's interesting. It's certainly very fast in Chromium on my EEE 701 running Jolicloud - They switched from prism to chrome as the default host for webapps.

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

          Netflix is the 800 lb. gorilla in rental and streaming. (To be fair, there are several 600 lb gorillas waiting in the wings...)

        • by abigsmurf (919188)
          Apple will have full control over what HTML5 is able to do on the iphone they could limit performance or functionality in a way that would make it pretty difficult to make advanced apps.

          Also, pushing HTML5 with the iphone lets then shape the specification more than perhaps they otherwise would have been able to.

          Lastly, HTML5 is still years away from mainstream adoption.
          • Hogwash (Score:3, Interesting)

            by snsr (917423)
            Anything less than a fully functioning browser would defeat the iPhone's raison d'être.
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by GameboyRMH (1153867)

              Are you suggesting that the current Flash-less browser is "fully functional?" Sad as it may be, Flash is an integral part of the web right now, and going without Flash totally breaks the functionality of many sites (such as youtube, which has had to introduce workarounds such as client apps to let the iSheep use their site). Sure you can still browse but it's far from "fully functional."

            • Re:Hogwash (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Steve Max (1235710) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:02PM (#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.

          • by iamhassi (659463)
            "Apple will have full control over what HTML5 is able to do on the iphone they could limit performance or functionality in a way that would make it pretty difficult to make advanced apps. "

            Who needs HTML5 apps? If I was Apple be more worried about someone setting up their own Hulu for iPhone. This HTML5 video works on iPhones and is privately hosted, not pulling from Youtube. [jilion.com] Not only does it work, it works very well, loading much faster than Youtube videos do on my 3GS.

            Since the iPhone is locked d
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

          ...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 secu

          • by forand (530402) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:30AM (#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.
            • While you may be amused by my statement, it is actually correct.

              Opera mini will never be a contender to run Flash like web apps. It doesn't even support HTML, but uses OBML or Opera Binary Markup Language. This highly optimised language is used to transfer renderings of pages that have been built on Opera's server (which as far as I am aware, doesn't support HTML5). Doing an animation on web page actually means downloading the entire page multiple times.

              The scripting is performed on Opera's servers and is i

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ash Vince (602485)

            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 ov

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by rayharris (1571543)

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

          Initially, Apple only wanted web apps for the iPhone. It took nearly a year for the iPhone SDK and App Store to be opened up. Apple cared mainly about opening up the platform to outside developers. A web app running HTML5 and JavaScript could do very little damage to the iPhone OS whereas a native App has the potential to do more damage.

          I still don't think their hatred of Flash is about protecting their revenue stream (which shows why they allow NetFlix streaming). They sell songs on iTunes, but Pandora has

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)

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

          That is a battle on a different front. HTML5 is better for Apple than plugins that may be IE only, or cross browser but Windows only (or unstable on other platforms). While it may look like an inconsistent position from an iPod/iPhone/iPad point of view it makes much more sense when considering the desktop and laptop markets.

        • by dfghjk (711126)

          "The conspiracy theory doesn't add up."

          I guess it wouldn't to someone who thinks that HTML5 allows "the same thing" as native apps.

          Apple specifically disallows anything that would enable downloading and executing any program bypassing the app store. It's not a conspiracy theory, it's the stated policy.

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

        by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:08AM (#31843942)

        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...

        • Are you entirely certain they allow ANY browser to use JS? Or is it only Webkit that is allowed to use it?

          If it's the latter, that's not really an opening for competing apps. All you can do is put another paint-job on the car. In other words - you can get it in any colour as long as it's black.

          • This isn't about competing apps. It is about security and code execution. Allowing a 3rd party to execute arbitrary code (think, javascript engine) is a potential security vulnerability and Apple wants to be the only one responsible for security issues, for better or worse. Opera Mini gets around this by executing the javascript on their own servers, rendering the result, and sending it to the app. Even if the experience were far better than Safari, Apple would still allow it because there is no danger to t
        • by Hatta (162192)

          Now someone just needs to write a C64 emulator in javascript, enabling people to code Microsoft BASIC on their iPhone.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        Apple's stated justification for not allowing Flash is that it'll drain the battery and so give a poor user experience.

        As if a good majority of the apps don't already do that. Oh wait, duplication of functionality?

        • There is a difference between an app and a platform plugin. You wouldn't have a Flash app, it would have to be a plugin to the embedded safari component.
      • Re:Not very good? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:29AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sribe (304414)

        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 pro

        • 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.

          I think this contains two good points and both probably have a lot to do with Apple's stance on Flash for the iPhone. The first point is that Apple has been badly burned by Flash. Adobe has a history of either not supporting new platforms with Flash players, or supporting them with horrible, buggy, barely functional players for years until they get around to putting in real effort. How long did 64 bit Windows take? How long is 64 bit Linux *still* taking? How long were the 32 bit Linux and the MacOS cl

        • 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.

          Apple doesn't care how much money they make on music|movies|tv shows|apps. If they turn a profit on it, great, but more importantly if the bulk of music|movies|tv shows|apps are purchased through iTunes for use on Apple hardware, then it helps them sell said hardware. Hey, I want to buy and watch TV on a portable media player, and sync my music, and occasionally buy an album and rent a movie... sounds like I need an iPod, iPad or iPhone. That's what they care about.

          Apple wants to have a dominant market sh

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

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:47AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DJRumpy (1345787)

          You do realize that bookmarks are synced in iTunes if you choose that option? Works on both Windows, and Mac.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by quadelirus (694946)
          Did you actually use the Opera Mini for iPhone before you posted that? It really is pretty terrible.

          First, it has only two zooms, out and in. When you are zoomed out the text is unreadable since it is basically just an image trying to look like text. Contrast that with Mobile Safari where I, at least, can read a webpage even if it is zoomed out (because it is actually rendering the text rather than rendering it to an image, compressing the image and then transmitting it across the internet.) The zoom in
          • by DavidTC (10147)

            Yeah, I installed and ran Opera mini last night.

            It appeared to be less useful than the actual built-in browser. I kept poking around and saying 'Is this it?'.

            Even the sole 'feature' it had, 'full screen', is idiotic....they don't get rid of top status bar, and leave two stupid buttons on the bottom, making it microscopically more space than the built-in one.

            I'm leaving it installed for the single fact it can render in 'mobile' mode (With a damn global toggle), and a few websites are better that way.

            • by xaxa (988988)

              Opera Mini is excellent on old or basic phones. I have it on my Motorola something-or-other. It's way better than the built in web browser.

              I don't really see the point on the iPhone. Opera Mobile (proper Opera for phones) might be good, but if Opera Mini is crap it's going to put people off.

      • Remember that originally Apple didn't want to allow 3rd party native apps and embraced developing open-standards web-based apps using javascript and the public didn't want it. Flash isn't allowed because it would have to be an addition to the platform (and not a separate app) that would be controlled by a 3rd party.

        Also, Apple allowed Opera Mini because it is not in violation of the developer agreement. Plain and simple.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      It depends on who you ask: fanboy or detractor.

      Opera certain didn't turn out to be quite the alternative this detractor was hoping for.

      It's hard to know if it would have been any better had the dev team not needed to worry about Apple's approval.

      • by Deag (250823)

        That is because it isn't a browser, it is a viewer for compressed web pages on a bad internet connection - edge or gprs or whatever, using it on a fast wifi connection instead of safari misses the point.

    • There is a difference between allowing an application that is not very good and allowing a platform addition via a plugin (Flash) that potentially makes the entire device unstable and is not very good.
    • by AndGodSed (968378)

      Well personally I have found Opera Mini to be rather good on a wide selection of cellphones I have tried it on. Maybe it just needs some time to mature?

  • Unfair Comparison (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323)

    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 alr

    • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:14AM (#31843980) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        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 batter

      • Re:Unfair Comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cbope (130292) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#31844180)

        I would agree with parent. Mini and Mobile are two very different browsers. I have used Mini on several non-smart phones and it gets the job done, and not much else. Mobile is a MUCH improved experience on a smartphone compared to Mini, but that's expected. It's the only browser I use on my Nokia E75.

        So, while I would not say Mini sucks, it's definitely a low bar to clear. If you have a smartphone Mobile is far better and will likely never be allowed by Apple.

      • Re:Unfair Comparison (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:54AM (#31844336) Journal

        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?

        I'm not saying it sucks as a browser, I'm saying it's not as good as the browsers on high end phones (where you'd run Opera Mobile), but it is better than the browsers on a large range of cheap "feature".

        The only platform that (a) has a decent browser but (b) can only run Mini and not Mobile, is the Iphone - and that's a limitation of the Iphone and its locked down nature, not Opera.

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

        Sure, but this isn't a review of that browser. It's a "let's only compare it to the Iphone browser".

        If it sucks, then it sucks.

        It doesn't suck.

    • 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.

      How does Opera Mini compare to Opera Mobile with settting Opera Turbo and Mobile View on? I have both browsers installed on my phone, but have only used Opera Mobile

    • by jittles (1613415)

      I would say that his review is pretty unfair just because I haven't seen a single text intensive website have a problem with overlapping fonts. Not NY Times, Slashdot, Slickdeals, his own website, or anything else. Did he ever think that perhaps the website was doing something that wasn't correct and that is why it is misrendering?

      As for his clumsy link clicking? The guy is totally biased here. Opera does not even let you click a link unless you're zoomed in. When you touch the screen it zooms into that

    • I would strongly suspect that that is why Apple allowed it(but why full Opera for mobile will never see the light of day on the iPhone).

      Opera Mini is, by design, a deeply compromised product. All traffic is routed through Opera's servers(yes kids, that includes SSLed stuff, probably best to avoid your banking) for pre-crunching. The whole idea is to, by using Opera's servers to do the heavy work, have a product that will run on the severely computationally constrained hardware in dumbphones and feature p
      • by netsharc (195805)

        Barely used? I think the killer argument is the supposed (never checked myself) size and speed savings. Speed is enough to get anyone to miss it if it's not there, and therefore Opera wins. Of course it's inherently insecure, etc, I know this, and if I'm just going to read CNN.com (wait, CNN is overflowing with shit, I meant news.bbc.co.uk), I won't care if Opera knows about it, and if I want to do online banking I'll switch to Safari. Even giving them my Facebook login is acceptable, I think they're a trus

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by whisper_jeff (680366)
      I know I'm going to get modded to hell for being a pedantic fanboi, but it's "iPhone" - lowercase "i", uppercase "P".

      Anyhow, as to your point, I think you have a valid point which you've expressed poorly. I've use Opera on the iPhone and it is notably inferior to Safari _BUT_ I could see people using it if they have limited data plans and are doing browsing while on 3G. It is fast and renders well-enough to get the job done. If, however, you're not worried about bandwidth (have the bandwidth to spare or
      • by mdwh2 (535323) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:10AM (#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 MartinSchou (1360093) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:08AM (#31843946)

    No interpreting languages means no javascript which will kill off quite a lot of pages. Also means they can't port the Opera Mobile which is a full fledge browser.
    No setting another default browser means you're corralled into Safari.

    Fonts is a bit silly, but that might be because the rendering is done on Opera's servers, and they aren't allowed to use Apple's fonts outside of the iPhone?

    No importing bookmarks from Safari - if the API doesn't expose that option, you can't really blame Opera for that restriction. If the API does make it possible, it's silly not to have the option.

    I've seen quite a few people complaining, that it's not using the iPhone friendly pages, but ... is that a valid complaint? I don't mean "suck it up", but if the webserver doesn't serve up the iPhone pages when Opera Mini on iPhone requests it, that's the server's fault. And to some extent having the server serve up the iPhone page only when Safari/Webkit on iPhone requests the regular page is silly as well. If you can detect Webkit on iPhone, you can probably detect any kind of mobile browser and serve up the mobile page for it. But I have neither a webserver nor an iPhone with Opera on it, so I can't tell you what kind of identifiers Opera Mini gives to the server.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Lack of js and only one font is more of a design decision, stemming from one of the main purposes behind Opera Mini.

      Mini gets preprocessed webpages in highly compressed binary format - letting js through or relying on local rendering assets would work against it, I guess (especially where it mosts matter, in so caled "3rd world" countries on very poor connection and basic mobile phones). In exchange, yeah, you get speedy browsing while in poor network conditions; also usually lower battery usage (the abilit

  • by ktappe (747125) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:13AM (#31843968)
    I couldn't use Opera for iPhone for more than a few minutes before abandoning it. Pinching in and out, possibly due to Apple restrictions to be fair, doesn't work well at all--it's not smooth, instead jumping between too far in or too far out. But the worst part is trying to change the pages shown on the home screen, To change or add one you have to hold your finger down on one of the 9 buttons. Then a menu pops up....UNDER YOUR FINGER WHERE YOU CAN'T SEE IT. But if you lift the phone up so you can peek under your finger to try sliding onto the pop up menu, IT DISAPPEARS as you move to it. It's literally impossible to change the home screen. I persistently tried, but had to give up after nearly 2 dozen attempts. It's truly an infernal piece of software. I had high hopes.....
    • by rarel (697734)
      Same experience here about the zoom feature, really not user-friendly.

      It's really disappointing, as a whole it didn't feel as smooth as Safari, a bit of a bummer as I really wanted to like it. However this is on an iPod Touch with blazing fast WiFi, so I can't really judge on Opera's alleged advantage on slow networks over Safari (even though it seemed to load pages faster).

      I'll keep it but not as primary.

      • It's plenty user-friendly. The point is that Opera doesn't do real pinch-zoom. You are supposed to put your finger where you want to zoom in, and that's it. Don't try to use pinch zoom as in Safari as that isn't even supposed to work.
    • by Bazzargh (39195)

      That's exactly the same horribleness that made me drop it. However you can actually get that feature to work: once the menu appears, lift your finger, NOW tap the menu. Of course if you move your finger AT ALL the menu is gone and you are left dragging over a bookmark you didn't want to open (it won't ever reappear again)

      Its also inexplicably worse than having these bookmarks as icons on your phone. At least there you can drag them to reorder them - in opera mini, you have to re-bookmark something to have i

      • The zoom in Opera is not supposed to be pinch zooming. Just tap where you want to zoom, as that's how it's supposed to work. Trying to get it working like Safari will just cause frustration. Use it the way it was meant to be used.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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 f
    • Don't bother pinching. Opera works by tapping where you want it to zoom in. Trying to pinch-zoom when Opera doesn't really support that it just silly. It's nothing but a gesture, so you might as well just tap to zoom instead.
    • "literally impossible"? as opposed to what? "metaphorically impossible"? "orally impossible"?

    • Opera doesn't have pinching at all, it works by tapping. Duh!

  • I found the Opera Mini experience on my iPod Touch to be quite pleasant actually. It rerendered the pages I viewed just fine when switching from portrait to landscape views. Maybe the websites from TFA just suck.
  • Was it ever rejected? I can find references to Opera saying Apple might not let it in, but nothing definitive.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • Was it ever rejected? I can find references to Opera saying Apple might not let it in, but nothing definitive.

      No, it was never rejected. Opera decided not to submit Opera Mobile, because they assumed it would be rejected since it does not comply with the requirements. A lot of people speculated that Opera Mini would not be accepted either, but it has never been rejected in the past.

  • by Luchio (782557)

    Of course, they didn't put that much effort into it, considering they didn't know if it was ever going to be approved by Apple. There was a fair risk that their work would go to waste. It will probably improve from now on, now that they breached the door open.

  • One thing many first-day reviews of opera-mini said was that it was much faster then safari, even while on wifi.

    I tried it yesterday (on wifi, since i have an ipod, not an iphone), and opera mini took serious time connecting to the opera servers, after which loading was fast. however, the opera-server connection pretty much killed it for me..

    Opera mini is a nice try, and some things do improve on safari, but on the whole, what i really want is opera Mobile (and once the app store is open enough, CHROME) for

  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:17AM (#31844000)
    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).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AaxelB (1034884)

      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.

      • 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.

        Last I checked, there weren't any backdoors in Opera that allow Opera employees access to my browser data.

        Giving Opera the ability to decrypt my "secure" data on their servers gives them the ability to view that data and do whatever with it. I'm not saying this is something that is likely to happen, but there are such things as Bastard Operators From Hell, who on a bad day might decide to do something nasty with your private information. Probably not likely, but the way I see it, the least amount of ha

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sznupi (719324)

          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 th

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AaxelB (1034884)

            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?)

            Exactly. I considered linking to this [bell-labs.com] in my post above, but it seemed a little too philosophical for the topic. Still a great read, and excellent point.

    • It works fine with HTTPS. The server and client use encryption. Of course, you should avoid entering your banking details if you don't trust Opera Software, but most people probably won't care. I certainly don't. Opera is not going to spy on anyone.
  • How do they do it? It's not just the browsing speed which is faster (though a bit "degraded" page viewing experience compared to Safari) but everything in the interface is faster. On 3G, even the keyboard which seemingly is the same keyboard widget that Safari uses is much much more responsive than when typing in Safari. Same goes for tab switching as mentioned in the summary and other actions like stop, reload, etc. Very snappy interface altogether.
    • How do they do it?

      They run the HTML and Javascript interpreter in the cloud instead of using Webkit. Basically it offloads a lot of the processing from the iPhone to Opera servers. As a side note, it also means even for encrypted pages (like your online banking) the people at Opera have full access to what you're doing, so you need to decide if you trust them with your security.

  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:27AM (#31844076) Homepage

    The initial release looks like a pretty straight port of the native Windows Mobile version, warts and all. To understand some of the weaknesses, you need to understand that Opera Mini was originally just a Java (J2ME) application, and smooth, arbitrary zooming is not something that would have worked well. Thus the Opera Mini proxy sends both a zoomed-in and a zoomed-out version of the page that the browser can jump between to allow the user to zoom in and out, even if it's only two zoom levels. With the greater CPU and graphical power offered by porting the application to Windows Mobile and the iPhone OS, I don't doubt that we'll eventually see an update that simply uses the zoomed-in version of the page and scales it accordingly to implement zooming, but these two ports are relatively new, and the developers obviously haven't yet had a chance to spruce up the rendering beyond what the Java version does already.

    In summary, I'd recommend putting it on your iPhone/iPod Touch so that you'll be informed when an update becomes available. I'd wager it will be improved significantly.

  • The speed dial feature is nice. I'm seeing Opera handling non-mobile-formatted sites better (for me) than Safari.

    Just my .02

  • It really is that bad. Although some people may find it useful in very low bandwidth situations, it is a struggle to use on the websites I frequent (Slashdot being one of them). It was totally unintuative, very unfriendly when zooming between the two zoom levels, and just a struggle to use. Browsing shouldn't be a struggle. I think the worst part of it was the zoom. You were either all the way out, or zoomed in to some pre-determined value that either had you scrolling left, right, up, or down to find somet

  • Why did the Slashdot editors even bother to link to this single-page piece of text? Why this exact review? Weren't all the reviews that praise Opera Mini pro-Apple enough for you or something?

    The problems: Doesn't take the page width into account (in fact, it's the opposite. Text is wrapped to fit the screen width even before you zoom in. This can be disabled in the opera:config page), doesn't resize the screen when you rotate (since the server does the page handling you'll have to reload the page to make

    • by DJRumpy (1345787)

      It doesn't matter if the text is 'wrapped' if it's illegible due to extreme zoom levels attempting to fit it all on a single page. Did you try browsing to Slashdot with it?
      As to reloading the page, doesn't that defeat the purpose of getting more speed if you have to reload every page when you want to switch from landscape to portrait? I think you would be surprised at how often people switch from portrait to landscape when browsing.
      Zooming is crap on this app, and no amount of lipstick will make it pretty
      Pr

    • by SnowDog74 (745848)

      Wait, so... usability, user experience, intuitiveness... basically all the reasons we use tools (to make the output of a task greater than the input required; i.e. to make our lives easier)...

      These are all "non-issues"? I'm really interested to know what you define as an "issue," then.

  • One thing I love about Opera is the "long click" that you can use to pop up a menu to, for example, open an link in a new tab. Unfortunately, new tabs open in the foreground, but if they ever make it so that new tabs open in the background I could see myself using it a lot just for that reason, ESPECIALLY if I get an iPad.* (At least switching among tabs is pretty easy.)

    For short browsing sessions (like when I want to kill a few minutes when I'm in line somewhere) Mobile Safari is fine. For longer sessions

  • 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? The iPhone has a very capable, full-featured mobile browser already - you know, Mobile Safari? I know the iPhone (as well as the iPod Touch and iPad) can be a bit resource-light for applications, but it is more than enough to handle most of the intarwebs quite well and fairly smoothly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.

  • At least that what Computerworld's IT Blogwatch has determined:

    There's a few pundits with egg on their faces this morning, as Apple approves Opera Mini. Against predictions of rejection, the alternative Web browser is now available from the App Store. Initial reviews are mostly positive, bar some fanboi grumbling. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers boggle and try it out.

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/15917/apple_oks_opera_for_iphone_its_really_quite_good?source=CTWNLE_nlt_blogs_2010-04-13 [computerworld.com]
  • I posted on Slashdot before I thought it would be allowed. After all, it does nothing against Apple restrictions, nor does it even operate the same way as Safari - all operations are done on the server. And here it is.

    Gruber of DaringFireball said that anyone surprised by Opera Mini being allowed does not understand the app store, and I can see from comments here he is correct.

  • Thinq.co.uk is either glitching or trolling for ad views.

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