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Opera Mini For iPhone Reviewed

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the at-least-the-price-is-right dept.

Iphone 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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Was it (-1, Offtopic)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843858)

fast enough for 1st post?

Re:Was it (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843890)

DING DING DING!

Not very good? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843866)

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? (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not very good? (5, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844022)

The conspiracy theory doesn't add up.

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

Re:Not very good? (3, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844484)

That's what they want you to think.

Re:Not very good? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844060)

(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...)

Re:Not very good? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844162)

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 (3, Interesting)

snsr (917423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844274)

Anything less than a fully functioning browser would defeat the iPhone's raison d'être.

Re:Not very good? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844316)

"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 down I'd be more willing to pay to access quality video content on my phone than my PC. Using HTML5 for video someone could create a iTunes competitor today. Come on TV/Movie studios what are you waiting for? Do you enjoy handing Apple 60%, or do you want someone else to create it all and then cry that they're stealing from you?

Re:Not very good? (1)

rayharris (1571543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844478)

Using HTML5 for video someone could create a iTunes competitor today. Come on TV/Movie studios what are you waiting for? Do you enjoy handing Apple 60%, or do you want someone else to create it all and then cry that they're stealing from you?

HTML5 video does not allow for DRM. iTunes and Flash (to some extent) video does. Ergo, no HTML5 iTunes clone.

I hate DRM, but the reality is that a studio won't authorize the use of their material without some basic assurances.

Re:Not very good? (2, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not very good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844614)

Except... they allowed Opera Mini in. Unless it doesn't, won't or can't support HTML5 Apple *has* given up some degree of control.

Re:Not very good? (2, Interesting)

rayharris (1571543) | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#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...

Re:Not very good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844110)

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.

Re:Not very good? (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not very good? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844258)

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.

Re:Not very good? (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844482)

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 the iPhone in terms of code execution. Opera Mini is simply not in violation of the developer agreement and therefore was allowed, end of story.

Re:Not very good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844536)

so you can get a black car and paint it any color you want?

Re:Not very good? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844040)

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?

Re:Not very good? (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844498)

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? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#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? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844292)

Apple's revenue numbers show the App store makes what 1-2% of Apple's revenue

My back-of-the-envelope calculations ended in similar figures but saying this is somehow readable in Apples revenue figures is news to me. As far as I know they do not differentiate with App store and the rest of itunes.

Re:Not very good? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844342)

>>>freshman business student could tell you the Apps are blades and Apple's model is clearly to make money on the razor

First off you have that backwards. Typically the razor (or printer) is given away for free or near-free, and then the money is made on the backend from blades (ink).

Second I don't think Apple is following that model. They appear to be trying to make money on Both the razor and the blades - both the hardware and the software. Apple's view is that if you control both, then you can profit off both. It's similar to how the videogame console makers operate, earning profit on both the hardware and the software.

Vice-versa: Lose control and you end-up like IBM (they lost control of both the hardware and software).

Re:Not very good? (2, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Webapps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844202)

it will allow third parties to develop apps in Flash and deploy them on the web
 
Isn't this the same thing as "webclip" style Web Apps that the iPhone was supposed to originally use? Why would Apple suddenly be against that?

Re:Not very good? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844250)

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? (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844532)

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

Re:Not very good? (1, Informative)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844566)

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 is also a problem because it is often too far in. The bottom line is that Opera Mini is an inferior experience.

I'm not saying anything about normal Opera. I don't personally like it, but I see how some people could. Opera Mini on iPhone, however, is not good.

Oh, and also it apparently strips out the https security from the secure websites you use--or at least acts as a middle man, which means you are trusting Opera servers with your bank account info if you use it for such things.

Re:Not very good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844376)

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

If you even have a shred of doubt in your mind regarding the truth of the above claim, you obviously
have no experience with OS X and Flash. Flash hogs both RAM and CPU power, and it makes
surfing the web miserable. because of this, most informed OS X users run some sort of Flash-blocker
plugin on the browser of their choosing.

Flash is crap, from the perspective of a user running OS X. And if you don't think the user experience matters,
you don't know shit about PCs.

Re:Not very good? (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844430)

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.

Re:Not very good? (-1, Redundant)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843910)

I see what you did there

Re:Not very good? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843912)

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.

Re:Not very good? (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843966)

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.

Re:Not very good? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844426)

>>>That is because it isn't a browser, it is a viewer for compressed web pages

By that logic, even the full-sized Opera Browser with Turbo is "just a viewer". Of course, you would be wrong. Opera Turbo or Opera Mini are not just viewers. The former receives compressed HTML/JPGs from Opera's servers, while the latter uses a text language called Opera Binary Markup that is about 1/5th as large as a regular page.

Opera Mini is not just a glorified JPEG viewer as many slashdotters keep repeating. That's simply false.

Re:Not very good? (-1, Troll)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844324)

It depends on who you ask: fanboy or detractor.

The fact that you apply this false dichotomy of extremism says a lot about how much we should value your opinions.

Re:Not very good? (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844442)

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.

Probably because of Adobe (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843888)

If, or when, they sue - they'll have some evidence to show. "Of course we allow competition, see this".

Re:Probably because of Adobe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31843964)

Opera Mini isn't a browser. I'm sure Adobe could explain why to the layman in about 2 minutes, so make that 5 for legal people.

Re:Probably because of Adobe (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844038)

Opera Mini isn't a browser. I'm sure Adobe could explain why to the layman in about 2 minutes, so make that 5 for legal people.

BULLSHIT!!!! Legal people would require several billable months.

Unfair Comparison (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843904)

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:Unfair Comparison (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843980)

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:Unfair Comparison (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844080)

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:Unfair Comparison (4, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844198)

Sorry, I meant GP, not parent.

Re:Unfair Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844208)

I'm planning on reviewing Opera Mini and Lynx today. Here's what I discovered in my research: Lynx can't even load images! It doesn't have any CSS or JavaScript support! I mean, when would somebody EVER want to use this Lynx thing? It is a browser, yet it clearly sucks. Don't EVER use it!

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844432)

What was the CLI alternativ to Lynx? Lynx works for its purpose: Worst case backup browser 3

Re:Unfair Comparison (3, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844336)

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:Unfair Comparison (0)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844428)

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.

In your case, you can just assume it will definitely suck in all but possibly one way. Compared to any other full browser (or just 'browser' as you call them) it will suck.

That one possible way is if you have an older phone that only has opera mini and can't use any other browsers (Original Razr, I'm looking at you! It's built in browser is less functional than lynx)
In that case, a non-full browser might be better than nothing at all.

Technically speaking, opera mini is NOT a web browser at all. It is a stream viewer application that can display a specific markup language served by opera mini's servers.
The web browser part of the process was between the web server/site you go to, and operas servers. It ends there, translates the webpage into another form, and streams that to your viewer application (Named opera mini)

Looked at that way, it becomes obvious you can't compare it to another totally different class of software known as the web browser, since it literally does not do much of anything a web browser app would do.
(Yes, it stores bookmarks and manages pages/tabs, but still has no html/webpage rendering engine in it)

We can only assume how good of a rendering engine opera used on their servers. I thought it was mentioned they used webkit, but that could easily be wrong.
The main point is that the webpage never makes it to your opera mini client in the first place, so comparing it to a program that DOES render html is silly.

The closest comparison I can think of is comparing remote desktop with a video player, and claiming remote desktop IS a video player simply because you can see a video window opening, but that remote desktop is a really crappy video player application because it doesn't decode video properly, and finally claiming remote desktop is clearly a video player app and must be compared to other video player applications.

Translating your statement:
So you're saying remote desktop sucks as a video player, and it's unfair to review it as a video player, because it's not intended to be a good video player? What? Exactly on what basis should it be reviewed?

Remote desktop is a video player. If I'm reading a review of remote desktop clients, then I expect to read a review about how good it is as a video player. If it sucks, then it sucks.

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844572)

We can only assume how good of a rendering engine opera used on their servers. I thought it was mentioned they used webkit, but that could easily be wrong.

They are using Presto of course (the engine of...Opera; though in a bit different version [wikipedia.org] from current "normal" Opera; running under massivelly pararell Linux VMs, with frequent "restarts" of VMs from known state). Why wouldn't they use their own layout engine?

Re:Unfair Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844524)

Think of Opera Mini as the iPad whereas Opera Mobile is like an overclocked laptop. It has limited functionality but is really good at that limited functionality. Would you listen to a review that called out the iPad for not being able to play the latest 3D games at 60fps?

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843992)

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

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

heneon (570292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844226)

I have a symbian phone (3rd ep1) and opera mini 4.2 & 5 and opera mobile 10 installed. Both minis load pages fast. Mobile even with turbo and mobile view cannot compete with the minis.

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843998)

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 spot. I think that's a hell of a lot more intuitive and easier than pinch zooming in. I cant' tell you how often I click the wrong link in Safari when there are several links in a column.

But I did notice that when I have the phone turned sideways I can zoom in and out of the page. This is definitely a bug, but it never bothers me. I find it so annoying to try and hold the phone in landscape mode anyway, unless I have two hands on it.

Re:Unfair Comparison (3, Funny)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844100)

find it so annoying to try and hold the phone in landscape mode anyway, unless I have two hands on it.

Landscape mode is much better when the girls are laying down, any other time you just cut off their heads.

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844026)

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 phones of various sorts. To the best of my knowledge, Opera Mini succeeds reasonably well in that context. You can get "good enough" web performance on an platform that couldn't run a real browser at all(unless you count the awful "netfront" crap that drags down the PSP and certain other Sony stuff).

The comparison against a real web browser, on a full smartphone, is hardly fair. I'm honestly not quite sure why Opera decided to expose themselves to the humiliation. Full Opera might have been a competitor. Opera Mini will be a barely-used App that provides ammunition for Apple apologists who want to argue about how "open" and "benevolent" Apple actually is.

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844438)

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 trustworthy company. More trustworthy than Apple and Facebook in my mind. Speaking of Apple, heh, Jobs' excitement was iAds, he must be happy that he's going to get a massive load of money for making ad-delivery devices that people pay 500 bucks to own...

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

Cesa (972909) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844030)

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

There is a setting in Opera Mini for iPhone that lets you render the web pages in "Mobile view". I have never used Opera Mobile, but perhaps that is the same thing?

I have to agree with the review, this browser is nearly useless for the iPhone. The way it zooms (or rather, don't zoom) is practically useless. In Safari I can just double tap a picture or text column and it is automatically fitted to the screen, in Opera Mini however there seem to be only two zoom modes, maximum zoom in and maximum zoom out. It's not even possible to zoom freely using the standard pinch zoom. When you have such a small screen it is essential to be able to view the web page content in a way that fits the screen, Opera Mini cannot do that.

That said, it does seem to have a nice set of features and settings, if they can get the zooming right it could be a very good browser, for now though I'm not gonna bother.

Re:Unfair Comparison (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844396)

There is a setting in Opera Mini for iPhone that lets you render the web pages in "Mobile view". I have never used Opera Mobile, but perhaps that is the same thing?

Nope - mobile view is simply a way of viewing the pages ( http://www.opera.com/mobile/help/faq/ [opera.com] ). Opera Mobile is a completely different browser, and with more features, and is a full browser rather than using server side processing.

Yes, I don't think it's controversial to say it's next to useless for expensive phones - I've never had to use it on my 5800. But those of us who have smart phones rather than the locked down Iphone can happily use Opera Mobile instead; and this review misses that Opera Mini's main purpose is to bring a better browsing experience to all phones, even the cheap low end ones that don't have a good browser as standard. Why not simply review "Opera Mini" instead of making it only "For Iphone"?

Re:Unfair Comparison (1, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844284)

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 are on wifi) or accurate page rendering is important, then Safari is going be the better choice. Any review of Opera should acknowledge it's weaknesses but simultaneously recognize it's strengths. It is an inferior browser that is very fast and utilizes much less bandwidth. There are times when that is entirely acceptable as a choice and thus it should be on people's iPhones alongside Safari. I know I'll be keeping it.

Re:Unfair Comparison (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844490)

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).

And the review is wrong on a couple of points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844466)

I've been using it and I have not experienced all the issues that the reviewer complains of. Hor/Vert works and page rendering is very good for layout. Slow to start but the UI is significantly easier to use than Safari IMHO. Pinch and spread works very well. Perhaps Opera did some quick updates?

Anyways, glad to have the competition. The iPhone is an excellent piece of h/w but Apple is such a bunch of fascists. Choice is good.

How many issues caused by Apple's restrictions? (3, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:How many issues caused by Apple's restrictions? (1)

atchijov (527688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844052)

Actually, Safari on iPhone supports Java Script exceptionally well. If you read carefully, Apple explicitly allow JS in WebKit container. I have tried Opera for few hours - and went back to Safari. Unless you are on Edge - the speed difference is negligible and really there is no any other benefits to compel me to switch from Safari.

Re:How many issues caused by Apple's restrictions? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844116)

Yes, but Apple won't allow anything other with js (or, more generally, any 3rd party app that can execute arbitrary code); besides, using locally available Webkit engine would work against the purposes of Opera Mini.

And you know, nobody said you have to abandon Safari; you can always keep Mini just in case when you're in an area with poor connection...

Re:How many issues caused by Apple's restrictions? (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844306)

No web font is under Apple's control, especially not fonts such as Verdama, Arial, Lucida, Times or Georgia. My guess is that Opera are using only one font to save memory on the rendering sever.

Re:How many issues caused by Apple's restrictions? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844338)

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 ability to run of almost any mobile phone doesn't matter so much in the context of the iPhone)

Same conclusion I reached... (2, Informative)

ktappe (747125) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.....

Re:Same conclusion I reached... (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844070)

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.

Re:Same conclusion I reached... (1)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844142)

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 it appear somewhere else (or maybe there's a trick to this one too)

Re:Same conclusion I reached... (1)

notrandomly (1242142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844382)

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.

Quite the opposite (1)

bynary (827120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843972)

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.

What change of heart? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843976)

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

Cheers,
Ian

Re:What change of heart? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844122)

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.

Naturally... (2, Funny)

Luchio (782557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843986)

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.

Speed (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31843996)

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 the iphone/ipod

Re:Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844106)

But Chrome is like a dumbed-down version of Safari anyway! WTF?

DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (3, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844112)

It says that right in the official Opera Mini FAQ at opera.com.

Good going, Paul Revere of the 1850's.

Re:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (0)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844134)

Yes...and it's something important enough that deserves being announced again.

Re:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (2, Insightful)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844358)

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 hands in the cookie jar, the better.

Re:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844462)

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.

Re:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (2, Informative)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844576)

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.

Re:DO NOT USE FOR HTTPS!! (1)

notrandomly (1242142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844356)

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.

My question about speed (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844014)

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.

Re:My question about speed (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844152)

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.

What was the reviewer smoking?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844036)

I'm a 3G 16Gb model owner. I have to say, I've found Opera to be REALLY nice so far! It's WAYYYYYY faster at rendering pages, zooming, scrolling, etc. Plus, because it's completely wiped from memory when closed, it doesn't keep it's cache sitting out in RAM making the whole phone slow the way that Safari does if you keep a couple tabs open.

Additionally, I like that they allow you to reduce the quality (and thus size) of the images, or turn them off altogether.

Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the HTTPS stuff all going through their servers.

I LOVE the "home page" thing. That's nice given that I tend to only hit the same couple of sites on a regular basis from the phone.

All in all, in a LOT of ways, Opera is what Safari on the iPhone SHOULD have been IMO.

Agree - Safari is really good.. (0, Troll)

trevc (1471197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844042)

I tried it and hated it - made me appreciate Safari on the iPhone even more.

It's just "okay" for now (2, Informative)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844076)

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.

Insanely fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844216)

We're really that impressed by fast switching between tabs?

I like it. (1)

gurutc (613652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844236)

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

Just my .02

Having used this for a few hours, I agree (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844248)

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 something, or you were zoomed out to 20,000 feet with an illegible mess of lines, bars, and tiny graphics. There was no in-between.

As to why Apple approved it, I don't see this as much different than a PDF viewer, although I would say it is much less user friendly than a typical viewer.

I remove it after trying it. It was just too painful to use.

creators' planet/population rescue reviewed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31844264)

it's a chance to see/save what's real.

Review? This is a review? (1)

notrandomly (1242142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844294)

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 the server send it in a new width. Duh), page zooming is clumsy (that's because you are just supposed to touch where you want it to zoom. It's just a single step zoom, so the pinch zoom is a fake emulated one), problems with pages (you get lots of site problems with Safari too), can't import bookmarks, and doesn't have a spelling checker. Oh, and it can't be set as the default browser.

So my summary: Several non-issues, one problem that is shared by Safari, and lack of a spelling checker and a default browser setting.

This review is simply garbage. Why is Slashdot linking to it?

Re:Review? This is a review? (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844480)

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
Problems with pages in Safari? I don't recall any that don't work, sans flash only pages. The issues with Opera go a bit deeper in regards to fidelity.
You also didn't mention privacy, meaning you have to trust the proxy completely for all data.

Ditto on the spell checker and default browser.

The above are valid concerns and I don't think the linked article is 'garbage'. This app should stand on it's merits, or fall due to it's lack of them. It has speed, but little else going for it.

Re:Review? This is a review? (1)

SnowDog74 (745848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844612)

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 that makes it almost-great (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31844680)

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 (like what I think I'd use an iPad for) I think I'd miss easy use of tabs a lot. When I sit down to browse for a while, I'll open a site like Google Fast Flip or DF or TUAW or Slashdot, start reading, and middle-click on linked-to articles that I want to read; then, when I'm done with the starting page, I close it and start reading items. This is how I browse probably 80% of the time. The ability to quickly and easily consume lots of a certain type of content would be the one killer feature that would push it to my primary browser, using Safari mainly for sites that Opera doesn't render well. (Funny--that reminds me of the early days of using Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox. :-) ) OTOH, if Safari ever implements open-new-tabs-in-the-background, my Opera use will pretty much cease.

* assuming, of course, that they make it for iPad. That reminds me--why are they doing this at all? They're giving it away for free AND they've got to run the servers they use to prep content for it. Why? This is like giveing away the razor and the blades. Do they think it will drive people to use Desktop Opera?

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