Crazy News Day: Opera Mini Approved for the iPhone!!

Opera Mini for iPhone - Tabs NYT

The last 18 or so hours have been crazy with announcements in the mobile world. Opera Mini was approved for the iPhone, Nokia announced three new QWERTY phones at impressively low price points and there's a new Bolt browser release.

I don't think anyone expected that Apple would approve the Opera Mini iPhone app. But the app store rules are so vague and approval process so opaque that you can never predict what Apple will bless and what they won't. Opera Mini does seem to fall under the prohibition that apps can't duplicate existing iPhone functionality which was Apple's excuse killing the Google Voice and Podcater apps.  Plus Apple has never allowed any 3rd party browser that was more than just a different skin or  user interface tweak on top of Safari's WebKit engine.  Hopefully the approval of Opera opens the door for Firefox, Bolt, Skyfire, UCWEB and others. Dare we dream of Chrome or IE on the iPhone?

It probably helped that the Opera Mini app is written in Objective-C and interprets JavaScript server-side rather than on the phone and thus meets Apple's native code and no interpreters rules. Plus, Apple is getting a lot of negative publicity over all the new restrictions placed on developers with the release  of the iPhone 4.0 SDK.  Maybe Jobs wanted to show developers that you could get something a little outside the box approved, especially if you aren't Google or Adobe!  Let's hope Mini stays approved,  as Apple has a history of capriciously un-approving previously approved apps.

I'm going to drop by the Apple Store later today and try to get a little hands on with Mini on the iPhone.  I'm especially interested in seeing if two key features of Opera Mini on other smartphone platforms are supported: file upload/download and saving web pages for off-line reading. I'll update this post when I know more.

Update: I got some hands with Opera Mini on an iPhone 3GS at the local Apple Store.  I found it fast and glitch free.  I tried quite  a few pages and saw no rendering issues at all. Image quality seems as good as  in Safari.

The user interface appears identical to the Java version of Opera Mini on touchscreen phones like the Nokia N97. As a long time Opera Mini user I felt right at home.  It's a nice UI but not particularly iPhone-like.

Opera Mini on the iPhone is able to save web pages and open saved pages, which is something Safari can't do.  Saving images on web pages works (they end up in the "Photos" app).

As with Safari, file upload web forms (input type="file") are disabled and there is no option to download and save documents other than images. Word, PDF and other document types that the iPhone supports can be viewed but not saved. If you switch from Opera Mini to another app (which closes Opera because the current iPhone doesn't multitask), the next time you launch Opera it reloads the last page you viewed, something I wish it would do on other platforms.

8 thoughts on “Crazy News Day: Opera Mini Approved for the iPhone!!

  1. io non Vi ho chiesto un abbonamento c'è stato un errore,Vi prego di annullare o comunque non rinnovarlo per la prossima settimana,grazie
    (I do not I have asked for a subscription there was an error, Please cancel or not renew it for next week, thanks)
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  2. io non Vi ho chiesto un abbonamento c'è stato un errore,Vi prego di annullare o comunque non rinnovarlo per la prossima settimana,grazie
    • io non Vi ho chiesto un abbonamento c'è stato un errore,Vi prego di annullare o comunque non rinnovarlo per la prossima settimana,grazie
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  3. io non Vi ho chiesto un abbonamento c'è stato un errore,Vi prego di annullare o comunque non rinnovarlo per la prossima settimana,grazie
    • Per Google Translate
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  4. Apparently it does allow saving of pages, though, not having the cash for that device I can't confirm it. But, like you, I'm very pleasantly surprised. Perhaps they'll start designing sites for mini rather than safari!

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