Opera submits mobile web browser for iPhone
Opera, the web browser famous for pioneering internet browsing technology, has recently submitted a version of their mobile browser designed for the iPhone. This means that iPhone and iPod Touch users will now have yet another option available for surfing the Internet.
Opera is a web pioneer, being the first to introduce tabbed browsing, CSS, and many other features now common to web browsers. Now they have done it again, producing an iPhone browser, Opera Mini, which claims to be as much as five times faster than Apple's Mobile Safari.
The reason that Opera Mini runs so much faster is simply a matter of processor speed. Mobile Safari downloads web pages and translates the code into an iPhone sized page using the iPhone's processor. Opera Mini routes it instead through Opera's servers and does the page scaling there, allowing it to be scaled using the much faster processors of a full-sized server. All your iPhone does is display code which it receives in a small iPhone-friendly format.
The drawbacks to this, of course, are those common to many third-party iPhone applications. Opera, in their rush to release the first version of their browser for iPhone, has not implemented the multi-touch gestures now familiar to users of Mobile Safari. This means that web browsing on the mobile device will not be as intuitive or easy as it now is, despite the obvious differences in speed.
Apple's approval of the Opera Mini mobile web browser is still pending, and neither Apple nor Opera has stated an expected price for the application. Other versions of Opera Mobile, available on devices running the Windows Mobile platform, are $24. It can be expected that Opera Mini for iPhone will be within the same price range, or perhaps even less. Most iPhone applications cost less than $10.