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Opera Mini For iPhone Reviewed 240

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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  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hogwash (Score:3, Interesting)

    by snsr ( 917423 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @09:49AM (#31844274)
    Anything less than a fully functioning browser would defeat the iPhone's raison d'être.
  • 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.

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

    by rayharris ( 1571543 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:05AM (#31844454)

    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 hasn't hurt that, so I don't think they see NetFlix as a threat either. They probably look at the trade off that having NetFlix would sell more iPads to people who might then buy more stuff from iTunes (music, apps, or videos).

    I think their hatred of Flash is really a hatred of... Flash. I don't work at Apple, but I can just about guarantee you they've ported some version of Flash player over to an iPhone in-house and it probably sucks. The same probably applies to the Java Virtual Machine as well. When you have such a crappy intermediary on a phone where user experience is king, Apple doesn't want any part of it.

    If you look at some of the other intermediaries that are out there, primarily Unity3D, Apple happily lets them in because they don't affect performance. Yes, you can build crappy apps in Xcode and Unity, but it's also just as easy to write good apps. I imagine in Flash and Java, it's probably hard to write apps that do anything useful, but still live up to Apple's expectations for providing a slick user experience.

    Adobe is whining about CS5 apps being blocked, but my prediction is that a CS5 app is going to be sluggish, particularly the touch interface, compared to an Xcode or Unity app. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.

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

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:20PM (#31846962) Homepage Journal

    Hey, how is Jolicloud? I tried to run it on in virtual machine to try it out and something in the install hung up past my desire that day to look into it. What's your first hand review?

    Jolicloud is the holy grail of Ubuntu on netbooks. It's UNR with superior hardware support and a cute web app to install more web apps. It supports practically all relevant netbook hardware, and does it well, e.g. my poor old little EEE 701 is automatically overclocked from 600 to 900 mhz. Unfortunately it's based on Jaunty and not Karmic so it's less trivial to live on the bleeding edge regarding software versions. For the laptops best-supported by moblin there's an Ubuntu moblin edition, so that's also worth looking into — I'm going to try that next for my Aspire D250-1165. Moblin itself fails to properly resume from suspend. Jolicloud worked but had mediocre support for my mediocre GMA950 — it did about as well as Ubuntu though. Moblin has the video support but the resume problem. Meego so far doesn't have a GUI on intel, only on N900? Not sure if it has one even there :p So Jolicloud is probably the best bet for most people. Right now I'm just wishing someone would give me power management support for Athlon 64 L110, for the LT3103u. I'd likely jump to any distribution, even Fedora, for that.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!