Opera Mini was finally cleared by Apple yesterday and made it into the App Store overnight (Monday April 12th 2010). There has been allot of will they won’t they speculation surrounding Opera Mini on iPhone with Apple seemingly digging their heals in over recent months and for a while we all wondered if Opera Mini would be rejected from entering the App store.
Thankfully not and having downloaded and installed the app there are certainly advantages as well as a few disadvantages of using Opera Mini over Safari on the iPhone or iPod touch.
Speed, quite rightly bolded, quite simply if you are using the net over the mobile connection you should consider Opera Mini right away. With 3G access here in the UK only really reliable in major cities most of us rely on 2G access most of the time and the major speed advantages that Opera Mini gives you makes Opera the number one choice.
How is Opera Mini so much faster?
Well from the outset Opera Mini was designed with mobile browsers in mind both for usability on mobile devices and speed. Opera Mini uses a proxy server to render the pages before sending the heavily compressed document to the handset, which is noticeable even over a Wi-Fi connection. Added to this is Opera Minis ability to turn images off or downgrade images makes the speed increase even more impressive.
Opera Mini also loads faster than Safari although for those of you with nice shiny 3GS iPhones the load time isn’t so noticeable for older 3G users when multitasking arrives with iPhone OS 4 then this may become an issue.
Opera Mini Features
One thing which I missed right from the onset with Opera Mini is the ability to ‘pinch’ the screen to zoom in and out although this isn’t required for every page this is a feature that I think needs to be integrated into future releases. Double tap the screen and the browser will zoom in to a set level although the integration isn’t as slick as that of Safari.
Some web pages don’t render quite as well as Safari, some pages will need horizontal scrolling now and again which can be a pain but if this annoys you then there is always Safari to open the page in!
Opera Mini Features
What you do notice are features such as speed dial, which shows all your bookmarks as thumbnails at start up which is a real bonus for me. Tabbed browsing is far more user friendly under Opera Mini than Safari I have always found that Safari can take an age to display tabs so this should speed about my browsing.
Opera link allows you to sync your bookmarks, speed dial, saved Searches, Notes and history with your desktop Opera installation basically storing these features in ‘the cloud’. You can also save a web page to view offline, which is a nice touch and email links something which is desperately needed in Safari.
Conclusion – Opera Mini
It’s a nice little app which will certainly be staying on my iPhone there are a few gripes with zooming and some rendering problems but on the whole it is certainly worth installing on your iPhone, iPod Touch even if its for the speed increase that Opera Mini brings.
There are certainly features that I think Apple will implement into Safari at some point and vise versa as I am sure that Opera Mini will incorporate some of the better features on Safari. My advice is to download and use both!