Opera Mini on the iPhone: First Impressions

by admin March 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm

While the browser didn’t seem particularly zippy, it offers plenty of features that make it an appealing alternative to Safari.

Here at South by Southwest Interactive, I finally got a little hands-on time with Opera Mini for the iPhone, which Opera started showing off last month at the Mobile World Congress Show in Barcelona. The Norwegian browser company told me that it’s still putting the finishing touches on it and plans to submit it to the iPhone App Store real soon now.

On every platform it runs on, Opera Mini’s signature feature is that it’s speedy, thanks to server-side compression that crunches Web pages down before they get sent to the browser. In my extremely informal experiments here at SXSW, Mini didn’t feel particularly zippy. (Actually, it loaded the New York Times’ home page more slowly than Mobile Safari did.) But it may not have been a real-world test of how it’ll perform when Apple approves it (please!) and it shows up on the App Store: An Opera representative told me that the compression is still going on via servers in far-away Norway, which would tend to bog things down.

Read more: pcworld.com