Opera Mini for iPhone hits over 1M downloads on first day, minus one

Opera_del When Opera Software's long-popular Opera Mini software was teased by the company a few months back running on an iPhone, most observers figured it had as much chance of getting approved as a non-black turtleneck and a pair of khakis in Steve Jobs' closet. This past Tuesday, any remaining doubt was erased as the alternative proxy-served browser hit the App Store and promptly zoomed to the top of the download charts with over 1M iPhone users adding this to their collection.

Curious to see if Opera Mini was like I remembered it on my Nokia N95-4 a few years back, I downloaded the iPhone version, only to use it for a few minutes before deleting it. In the middle of this quick love-hate experience, I suddenly realized why Apple approved the app, and that's because it really is no threat to their own standard-bearer, MobileSafari.

A few of the things that quickly soured me were the lack of double-tap and pinch zoom, as well as completely unreadable text in page overview mode. Those three features right there, along with scroll-to-top, are what set the iPhone's browser apart from other mobile browsers. But not all was bad, as I liked the way Opera Mini has implemented multiple windows, as well as not requiring a full page reload when going back a page or two.

The next version of Opera Mini should include some fixes and tweaks, at which point I'll give it another try. How about anyone else? Are you putting the new browser to good use, especially those of you in slower EDGE coverage or with first-gen iPhones, or did you also hit that "Delete" button?

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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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