Opera Mini for iPhone submitted to Apple | iLounge News


Opera Mini for iPhone submitted to Apple

CNET reports that Opera has now submitted its Opera Mini web browser for the iPhone to Apple for App Store approval. First previewed at the Mobile World Congress, Opera Mini is designed to be used as an alternative to the iPhone’s built in Safari browser and promises faster page loading due to server-side optimization and a tabbed browser interface. CNET indicates that Opera Mini 5 running on the iPhone looks and behaves “almost identically” to the version of Opera Mini 5 on other mobile devices but also includes the ability to reload the previous session to maintain a persistent state when relaunched. Unlike other alternative browsers currently available on the App Store, Opera Mini is not based on WebKit, and there has been much speculation as to whether Apple will approve it. Third-party browsers have previously fallen afoul of Apple’s restriction on third-party applications executing code, however in discussing the matter with CNET, Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner indicated that he doesn’t feel that Opera Mini directly violates anything in Apple’s SDK license as it merely displays web pages rendered on Opera’s own proxy servers.

Related Stories



Any word on whether or not Opera Mini for iPhone (if approved) can access the Safari browser’s bookmarks, or otherwise utilize the sync services of MobileMe? This is a persistent omission in Mac OS X, that only Safari can sync its bookmarks, leaving all other browsers out in the cold.

Posted by Herr Doktor in Toronto on March 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM (CDT)


There’s been no word on this either way, although Opera has its own bookmark sync service that works with a companion Opera Link desktop app, so it’s doubtful that it will integrate directly with MobileMe.

Further, I don’t think the Safari bookmarks on the iPhone can even be accessed through the official SDK frameworks.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on March 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM (CDT)


I love the Opera browser for the Mac. So I relay hope that Apple will allow it to reach the App Store. Opera is very fast and has a lot of good features. So if the iPhone App is as good as the Mac version, then I gonna change mobile browser.

Dan Plesner Henriksen

Posted by Dan Plesner Henriksen in Toronto on March 24, 2010 at 5:45 AM (CDT)


Jesse (#2): Your comment perfectly illustrates the “walled garden” concept of the Apple ecosystem. The more tech-savvy computer and gadget users among us dislike this approach and thus stay away from Apple. I’m an Apple fan - a “switcher” for 10 years now - and yet I’m frequently inconvenienced by this approach.

If only Apple saw fit to allow just a bit more user customization in their products. It’s unthinkable that allowing browsers other than Safari (on all of Apple’s computing products) to sync bookmarks via MobileMe would open the floodgates of OS instability.

I use the Camino browser on my iMac and it’s a pain to manually sync its bookmarks with Safari (in order to then let MobileMe sync them). I would love to use Opera Mini on my iPhone, but I’d hate to have to manually enter and sync my Safari bookmarks with it.

Be warned, Apple: you’re making services like Google Bookmarks - which do NOT cost $99/year - more and more appealing. Safari is not the be-all and end-all of web browsing, and increasing numbers of users are discovering this.

Posted by Herr Doktor in Toronto on March 24, 2010 at 10:17 AM (CDT)


Ironically, MobileMe itself isn’t a closed system—many Mac developers are able to write applications that sync with it, and I don’t think the Bookmarks framework on the Mac side is closed in any way.  In fact, there are numerous third-party bookmark sync tools that access Safari bookmarks without difficulty and allow them to be transferred to other browsers.

For the records, Windows users encounter some of the same issues with IE, and Microsoft actually stores its bookmarks as files, so they really shouldn’t be all that tough to access.

The bottom line is that I don’t really see any web browser developer making it easy to share your bookmarks with other browsers—it seems to be up to the receiving browser to pull the bookmarks over on its own.

The iPhone is a different story of course, and it’s not that the bookmarks themselves are specifically prohibited from access, but that Apple hasn’t opened up any specific APIs to allow them.  iPhone runs apps in separate sandboxes and anything that isn’t specifically provided by APIs is not available—a third-party app can’t just open up Safari’s prefs and read them unless Apple has exposed that information via an SDK API.

On the other hand, I don’t think building a MobileMe sync solution would be all that difficult,  even on the iPhone side. There are already iPhone apps that sync with MobileMe for other information.  Realistically, I suspect Opera simply isn’t going to want to do this as they’ve already provided their own solution in the form of Opera Link.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on March 24, 2010 at 3:48 PM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy