The Opera Mini Browser shot to the top of most downloaded lists in iPhone app stores in 22 countries after it was released on 12th April. There was speculation Apple wouldn’t approve the app because it is so similar to the native Safari app but it did, and that’s good for iPhone users.
Three reasons the Opera Mini App is better:
1) It’s faster: on wifi the difference is not noticeable, but on a simple mobile connection Opera does download stuff much faster than Safari. And that’s what good browsers do.
Google search: a google for “hamster” took 10 seconds on Opera Mini and just over 15 on Safari.
Loading a website: taking hamster.co.uk as an example, it took 55 seconds to get the full webpage up on Opera Mini (from clicking on a search result), compared to 2 min 5 sec on Safari – a pretty significant difference.
Why is it faster? Its 90% compression technology means that it moves stuff more quickly over limited connections.
2) It’s got a nice tabbing feature which means you can more easily between pages and continue to read them while tabbing, instead of having to do Safari’s zoom in, zoom out thing. I find it easier.
3) Good start page: the start page on That makes sense – generally there are four or five sites that you’d visit fairly regularly so that helps with a)navigation and b) saves time, they’re just one click away instead of having to visit a bookmarks bar on Safari.
Speed is probably my number one priority in a browser and since Opera Mini is up to twice as fast that’s pretty useful, especially if you are on the go and just need a piece of information quickly. Other features are nice add-ons, but it’s the speed that’s a decider. It has replaced Safari in the bottom app bar of my iPhone…
Opera Mini, free on iTunes here