By Samantha Gluck
People waited breathlessly to see whether Apple would approve the new Opera Mini browser for iPhone. It was approved and released on April 12, 2010. Since then, iPhone users have rushed to download and try the new browser. As a result, the United States ranks 5th in the world for Opera Mini downloads and the Opera Mini browser is ranked as the number one browser for iPhone users in the country. The iPhone comes with a Safari mobile browser already loaded; so why would iPhone users want to take up space and download another browser?
Great Start Page
The browser’s start page, called Speed Dial, has nine customizable photo tabs that connect to your frequented Web sites for fast and easy navigation. With the Safari mobile browser, users have to visit a bookmark bar to load their favorite sites.
Users can use the tabbing feature to move easily between pages and read them without zooming in and out as is necessary with Safari. The true tabbed browsing offered by Opera also syncs mobile bookmarks with your desktop version of Opera.
The context menu pops up when users hold a finger over a block of text or photo. The menu allows users to open new pages, copy photos to the iPhone photo roll, or place a selection of text on the clipboard.
For many mobile users, speed of page loads and navigation is king. Opera allows for significantly faster browsing than Safari due to its server-side compression technology. Opera compresses Web pages on the Opera server before sending them to the mobile device. This technology makes browsing far less frustrating over slow and limited connections.
And the number one reason iPhone owners are willing to try a new mini-browser — it’s free. If people had to pay even a nominal amount to add Opera to their app collection, it most likely would not be enjoying the current download levels. Free is good.
You cannot actually set Opera as your default browser on the iPhone. The default browser will always be the factory loaded Safari mobile application. Other drawbacks and bugs may crop up in the future once Opera Mini has been out there longer, but for now it’s all the rage.
About the Author
Samantha Gluck has had over a decade of experience helping businesses better focus their Web sites to enhance ecommerce and Internet presence by utilizing Web analytics, relevant design elements and marketing campaigns.