Apple

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.

Avatar of Chris King

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

  • I’ve tried it on Android; but I didn’t like it.

    I’m still a huge fan of the much improved Android stock browser customized by Loccy in the Cyanogen Build. Reasonable extra features makes it to where I just can’t stand other browsers; lol.

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  • I still have it on my N1, but I never use it…I use stock or Dolphin.

    You’re eventually gonna talk me into that Cyanogen firmware, Jaredu :-)

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  • haha; Steel’s a pretty good one too.. I don’t think you have to root for loccy’s browser; it’s just included.

    Definitely test it out after turning on other than market sources & just look on the forums for “Nexus Loccy’s better browser”

    ^_^

    I’ll get you eventually… 270/360 degree rotation alone makes it worth it. XD (charging in the car with headphones plugged in makes it like a usable floating power brick for music; lol.)

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  • WOW,that’s great.This can be considered genius move.I think for Android we will see a Beta of Opera Mini 5 soon…

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  • I was excited at first, but after using it for a day I switched back to safari. I hate having to zoom in every time I go to a new page before I can actually read the text, as well as the lack of touch to top and the double-clicking required to open or close a new window. To many taps to have a decent web browsing experience as compared with safari, which generally require little zooming to get a readable font.

    As for the speed, probably slightly faster in anecdotal experience, but nothing too amazing.

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  • While it’s clearly beta (whether or not they say so), the things I do like on my Motorola Droid is it’s server side compression and mouse pointer. The things I don’t like would be rendering and form input issues.

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  • Avatar of jimtravis

    Hi Chris:

    I again respect your opinion, but do want to offer a different pov. I like Opera Mini, and it will be my “goto” browser. If you have seen my prior posts, you may have noticed I prefer mobile (not WAP) pages on screens less than 7 inches because all the scrolling, panning, and zooming required for desktop pages on small screens gets very old very quickly for me. Safari displays some single column mobile pages, forum comments, and popular single column pages like Craigslist with too small a font for comfortable reading even after using double tap zoom, and pinch zoom does not reflow the text. I realize bookmarlets may overcome the problem, but they are a pain to use for each page.

    Opera Mini displays the single column pages that I prefer with a comfortable reading font without any zooming, and with proper text reflow. If you change the settings to mobile view, the unreadable full screen view is skipped. The mobile setting works fine for the pages I prefer because they are single column for the most part, but will show desktop sites like NYTimes in a single column with a nice readable font size.

    Maybe future versions of Opera Mini will change the features you do not like. For me, Opera Mini is a much better browser than Safari because it displays the pages I prefer with a comfortable reading font, and proper text reflow without any zooming, panning etc. I don’t miss double tap zoom because it is not needed for my preferred pages, and I have never been a fan of pinch zoom because of the lack of text reflow.

    Again, I respect different opinions, and realize we all have different preferences for web browsing. For me, Opera Mini is a much better match for my browsing style, but realize the opposite would be true for users who prefer browsing desktop pages.

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  • It’s good to get a different POV, Jim…I do remember you saying at one time you like the mobile sites. You’re using an old Toshiba PocketPC, right?

    I did try the mobile view, but I’ve just become so spoiled by the full page experience on the iPhone, it’s hard for me to go back. I have a feeling Opera will see that everyone is remarking about the same issues and they will fix them in a future release.

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  • Avatar of jimtravis

    The Toshiba e830 is definitely one of my favorites. My comments were based on using Opera Mini on the iPod touch, but Opera Mini also does an excellent job on the WM platform, a big improvement of Version 4.

    Unfortunately, Opera Mini on WM needs a minimum of WM5, so my favorite e830 is left out of this version upgrade. Opera Mini looks real nice on the HP210 with its 4″ screen, and on the Mondi with its large screen.

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  • I like your post,If you change the settings to mobile view, the unreadable full screen view is skipped. The mobile setting works fine for the pages I prefer because they are single column for the most part.

    Reply

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