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Opera Mini on the iPhone - Now THAT'S a browser!

The Opera Mini has been approved for the iPhone and iPod touch and is now available for download from Apple's App Store. I've taken the browser for a test drive, and so far I have to say that it's good!
adrian-kingsley-hughes

The Opera Mini has been approved for the iPhone and iPod touch and is now available for download from Apple's App Store. I've taken the browser for a test drive, and so far I have to say that it's good!

"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."
Check out the Opera Mini for iPhone gallery

With some 80 million iPhones and iPod touches out there, it's time users had a choice of browser.

OK, so what's cool about Opera Mini for the iPhone?

First off, Opera Mini is free, so there's no downside to trying it out for yourself.

Secondly, within moments of starting to use it, you'll discover that it's light years ahead of the built-in Safari browser that Apple provides. Why? Because it's fast and packed with cool features.

You might already be familiar with Opera Mini from another smartphone. The browser has more than 50 million users worldwide. One of the tricks that it has up its sleeve is that it enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, which results in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice a significant uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. If you're paying for data (for example, when roaming) then this will translate into money saved.

The interface is minimalistic, as one would expect for an app that has to content with limited screen real estate. That said, everything feels nice and balanced. There's little on-screen clutter.

The way Opera Mini for the iPhone handles tabs is also nice:

Next -->

Find in page is also a wonderful feature:

Settings are all easily accessible too:

The browser is not all perfect though. Here are some of the downsides:

  • Readability of pages in the overview mode sucks ... Safari is wins here hands down
  • I've noticed a few page rendering issues
  • Panning and zooming is weak
  • Startup can be slow as it reloads pages that were previously open

That said, Opera Mini for the iPhone is very fast, works well most of the time, includes some really nice features otherwise not in Safari, and is free. Oh, and it's likely to keep on getting better.

Highly recommended!

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