Feeds

Opera auditions for iPhone browser spot

Much better for one-handed operation

The essential guide to IT transformation

Opera Software will be demonstrating its eponymous browser on Apple's iPhone next week, but don't expect to see it popping up in iTunes any time soon.

The announcement comes ahead of Mobile World Congress, the industry's annual shindig in Barcelona, where Opera Software will be demonstrating Opera Mini running on an iPhone to show it's faster than Safari. It will be hoping to force Apple into accepting the alternative browser of choice into iTunes.

Opera Mini is the Java-based version of Opera Mobile, offering greater handset compatibility with less integration than is possible using a native application. The iPhone doesn't support Java, so this will be a native application with the Mini feature set - though differences between the two are minimal these days.

Safari does a decent job rendering the internet on an iPhone - putting it side-by-side with Opera Mobile shows two very credible options. Opera is better for one-handed operation: making a better stab at guessing the ideal zoom level for reading, but Opera lacks the infinite zoom of the iPhone, so it's swings and roundabouts.

Opera's big sell is the "turbo" feature, which caches and compresses content at Opera's servers to reduce bandwidth and increase download speeds. We've liked Turbo before, but the iPhone's Safari browser is pretty impressive too. Putting the two side by side, we find Opera Turbo shaving off a second or two in loading times. This is not enough to make a huge difference to the browsing experience, unless one was working over a very slow connection.

Not that Apple is likely to allow Opera's browser onto its baby. Opera Software won't even be submitting the iPhone version for approval prior to showing it to journalists next week, clearly in the hope of embarrassing Apple into approving something Cupertino has made it very clear wouldn't be allowed.

Apple thinks an alternative browser would confuse users, just as an alternative e-mail or music download client would, and they're probably right. iPhone users don't want choice, they want simplicity, and Apple will continue to provide that for them no matter what the Norwegians show journalists next week. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.