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Opera Mini for iPhone fails Acid3 test

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Opera's new browser for iPhone offers an edge in speed in exchange for less than accurate page rendering. However, the free new browser isn't just taking shortcuts; its weak performance in the Acid3 test demonstrates that it doesn't correctly support web standards.

In the first look review of the new Opera Mini browser, AppleInsider noted that the browser did a poor job of rendering basic layouts of text and tables on the NYTimes.com website (as shown below).

Opera Mini's weak rendering leaves many page elements unreadable. This is a rather stark contrast to Opera's desktop browser, which has consistently maintained high web standards compliance competitive with Apple's Safari browser. Each uses a different rendering engine: Safari uses WebKit, while Opera uses its own Presto.

Opera Mini scales back rendering quality by stripping a variety of features from web pages as they pass through Opera's proxy server. Fonts appear to all be replaced with Helvetica, graphics can be heavily compressed, and the entire structure of the page is translated from HTML into a markup language called OBML (Opera Binary Markup Language).

This breaks much of the functionally of JavaScript and erases the benefits of using SSL encryption. However, it can result in a big boost in page delivery and rendering times, particularly on a slow mobile connection, if rendering accuracy and security aren't important considerations for that web browsing session.



The Acid Test

The Acid3 test, developed by a team of W3C experts lead by Ian Hickson, includes a battery of subtests that probe the browser's ability to handle everything from basic HTTP, HTML tables, DOM transversal, CSS selectors, JavaScript and Unicode to more esoteric features including SVG and SMIL. It provides a score out of 100 possible points.

Browsers can score 100/100 and still fail the test if they do not correctly render the final page of graphics to a pixel-level precision. Additionally, there is also a performance component to the text, although this is not usually taken into consideration on mobile browsers.

When benchmarked by the site iSmashPhone, the new Opera Mini failed with a score of 74/100, while Safari Mobile received a score of 100/100.



iPhone's Safari browser tough to beat in Acid3 standards compliance

The site didn't note that the current iPhone OS Mobile Safari, despite its score, does not actually pass the Acid3 test due to rendering details (noted by arrows, below). However, it does do much better on the test than any other mobile browser (even browsers that use the same WebKit rendering engine that Safari uses), and better than many other desktop browsers as well.

post #2 of 74
What's the point of this browser? Really.
post #3 of 74
Try again Opera. Good first attempt though.

Does anyone else find the theme for the iPad Safari version to be more aesthetically pleasing than the desktop safari or mobile safari?
post #4 of 74
Safari on the iPhone/iPad is far superior to most browsers I have used on desktops or mobiles, and Opera is just plain terrible for both devices.
post #5 of 74
It's fast, but it looks awful. You can't read almost anything on nytimes.com unless you zoom in.
post #6 of 74
Opera wanted this to happen just to get in. If they were to show a perfect app - Apple may have not approved it. Now that they are "in" They can improve on those features in future updates.
Is Firefox, Chrome and IE going to offer apps???

C-
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Dancers are the Athletes of God - Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

It's fast, but it looks awful. You can't read almost anything on nytimes.com unless you zoom in.

Agreed. Nice effort, but rather poor overall usability IMHO.
post #8 of 74
I just don't see this as a "real" browser. To me it is just sending an image of the site, not the site itself. And not a very nice image at that.
post #9 of 74
74/100 is actually a good score for the Acid3 tests. The vast majority of websites will work fine. Acid3 tends to focus on a lot of features that aren't in common use. 74/100 is a lot better than IE which is still the world's most popular browser.

The latest beta of Pesto (the layout engine used by Opera Mini) scores 98/100 so they aren't that far behind Safari.
post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicMac View Post

I just don't see this as a "real" browser. To me it is just sending an image of the site, not the site itself. And not a very nice image at that.

agreed, it's far from perfect.
and yet, it does a great job of displaying some websites which take far too long to load on safari. especially when on a slow connection. eg uk.eurosport.yahoo.com.

it's good to receive the news quickly, even if the paragraphs aren't all aligned etc

best
-d
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

its weak performance in the Acid3 test demonstrates that it doesn't correctly support web standards

You are kidding, right?

You are comparing a mini-browser with the engine on a server to full browsers with the engine locally?

If this isn't a joke, this site really needs to start laying off staff...

Of course Opera Mini isn't going to pass Acid3. The way it works prevents it from doing that. Rendering on a server, remember?

What's funny is that Safari doesn't pass either, so apparently "the Acid3 test demonstrates that Safari doesn't correctly support web standards" too.

LOL.
post #12 of 74
I can't believe some of you are saying nice effort. It's a poor effort if you want a usable browser. Sure, it can be faster than Safari under some circumstances, but the fact that it doesn't display pages correctly (I found worse problems with NYT when I tried it) and the scrolling is horrible kills it. Opera will have just turned off a lot of potential users with this, and it will only hurt their image more.
post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

What's the point of this browser? Really.

As Opera put it, it complements Safari and gives you faster browsing on slow connections. It doesn't replace Safari.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicMac View Post

I just don't see this as a "real" browser. To me it is just sending an image of the site, not the site itself. And not a very nice image at that.

Uh, yeah. That's kind of the point. Compression and server-side rendering, remember? To compress pages up to 90% and speed up browsing on slow connections?

Fail?

It does exactly what it was designed to do. And it isn't supposed to replace full browsers like Opera Mobile or Safari.
post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

I can't believe some of you are saying nice effort. It's a poor effort if you want a usable browser. Sure, it can be faster than Safari under some circumstances, but the fact that it doesn't display pages correctly (I found worse problems with NYT when I tried it) and the scrolling is horrible kills it.

What problems with NYT?

Safari displays pages incorrectly too, so...
post #15 of 74
I just took the Acid3 test with Opera on my iPhone 3GS and got a 97/100 score \
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by insike View Post

You are kidding, right?

You are comparing a mini-browser with the engine on a server to full browsers with the engine locally?

If this isn't a joke, this site really needs to start laying off staff...

Of course Opera Mini isn't going to pass Acid3. The way it works prevents it from doing that. Rendering on a server, remember?

What's funny is that Safari doesn't pass either, so apparently "the Acid3 test demonstrates that Safari doesn't correctly support web standards" too.

LOL.

This from a slashdot article's comments a few weeks ago:

If Steve Jobs said all Apple users should throw themselves off a cliff, Roughly Drafted would provide a semi-spirited defense of suicide.

Then you look at the author of this article and everything slips into place.
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

This from a slashdot article's comments a few weeks ago:

If Steve Jobs said all Apple users should throw themselves off a cliff, Roughly Drafted would provide a semi-spirited defense of suicide.

Then you look at the author of this article and everything slips into place.

Have you used Opera on the iPhone? its freaking terrible.
post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by insike View Post

You are kidding, right?

You are comparing a mini-browser with the engine on a server to full browsers with the engine locally?

If this isn't a joke, this site really needs to start laying off staff...

Of course Opera Mini isn't going to pass Acid3. The way it works prevents it from doing that. Rendering on a server, remember?

What's funny is that Safari doesn't pass either, so apparently "the Acid3 test demonstrates that Safari doesn't correctly support web standards" too.

LOL.

Ummm... I just ran Acid3 on my iPod Touch (2nd gen 16GB) and I got a 100/100, also ran it on my MacBook Pro and also got a 100/100 how is that a "Safari doesn't pass"?
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Have you used Opera on the iPhone? its freaking terrible.

Not terrible, just different, and serves a different purpose than Safari.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skottichan View Post

Ummm... I just ran Acid3 on my iPod Touch (2nd gen 16GB) and I got a 100/100, also ran it on my MacBook Pro and also got a 100/100 how is that a "Safari doesn't pass"?

Read the article, perhaps? It doesn't match the reference rendering. That's a fail even if it gets 100/100.
post #20 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

What's the point of this browser? Really.

Based on my personal use, I'd say speed is its forte.

As the article mentions, it poorly renders many websites. It ends up being a waste of time because you'll end up at a site that is atrociously rendered and have to switch back to Safari. I deleted it from my iPod touch after a couple of days.

I do hope the Opera folks will continue to improve their browsers (both desktop as well as mobile).

A shame, really.
post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by insike View Post

Not terrible, just different, and serves a different purpose than Safari.

I see, then I will probably stick to safari, the experience is that much better than Opera so far.
post #22 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by idanceapps View Post

Opera wanted this to happen just to get in. If they were to show a perfect app - Apple may have not approved it. Now that they are "in" They can improve on those features in future updates.
Is Firefox, Chrome and IE going to offer apps???

C-

IE doesn't even have a Mac version there will never been an iPhone one
post #23 of 74
Sorry..a turd passed whilst constipated or after a laxative remains..a turd.
What is the point of rendering (term used loosely) a page more quickly if one has to decipher its legibility?
Pass for now..cya in a couple months, Opera.
post #24 of 74
I downloaded it and deleted it 5 minutes later, no thanks.
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Have you used Opera on the iPhone? its freaking terrible.

Yes.

The browsing experience is not freaking terrible. It's not fantastic. But it's useful in certain situations.

AFAIC, the Acid 3 test is really only of academic concern for most users. It's a pissing contest between browser makers. I couldn't give a fig what Acid score it gets as long as the content is rendered. For instance, a 5/100 the IE gets really means nothing. It doesn't mean the software fails browsing. The entire www can be rendered by it (at least the entire www that doesn't do something stupid like sniff out user agents and turf a particular class of users). You can go on and on about standards and what not, but to most people it means nothing.
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

What's the point of this browser? Really.

For those that believe having a "choice" should trump functionality. I had a strong feeling that the Opera browser would be utter garbage, I'm sure there will be those vocal supporters that will spin this into something else.

The supporters want to apply the PC-paradigm to the iPhone platform and turn it into the ADHD mess that the PC platform is. So much choice that nothing works well.

If you want to design a great iPhone web-platform, stick with Safari. Eventually the other players will figure that out and either get their apps properly standardized or get out of the field.
post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by idanceapps View Post

Opera wanted this to happen just to get in. If they were to show a perfect app - Apple may have not approved it. Now that they are "in" They can improve on those features in future updates.
Is Firefox, Chrome and IE going to offer apps???

C-

Because Apple's position on the App Store is to only release shitty apps? That doesn't make any sense. Neither does Firefox, Chrome and IE now offering iPhone browser apps. Opera was approved because it doesn't break any of the SDK rules. Namely, there is no local Presto layout engine, all rendering is done server-side.
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post #28 of 74
And this is significant news why? So we can all pad ourselves on the back saying we don't need alternative browsers because they suck anyway? Please. This doesn't deserve an article, it deserves a two line note, if anything.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Because Apple's position on the App Store is to only release shitty apps? That doesn't make any sense. Neither does Firefox, Chrome and IE now offering iPhone browser apps. Opera was approved because it doesn't break any of the SDK rules. Namely, there is no local Presto layout engine, all rendering is done server-side.

I wonder whether the new data gathering exclusions in the new SDK agreement is going to trap apps like this?
post #30 of 74
Guys, this browser is not meant to replace safari. If something doesn't render correctly in opera, open safari and get. over. it.

After over a million downloads in this short period of time, I think it's clear to Jobs that people DO want choice in their browsers.
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by insike View Post

Of course Opera Mini isn't going to pass Acid3. The way it works prevents it from doing that. Rendering on a server, remember?

If the server is doing the rendering then it stands to reason that it is the server failing the Acid3 test then doesn't it. Therefore your argument falls over very quickly.
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

For instance, a 5/100 the IE gets really means nothing. It doesn't mean the software fails browsing. The entire www can be rendered by it (at least the entire www that doesn't do something stupid like sniff out user agents and turf a particular class of users). You can go on and on about standards and what not, but to most people it means nothing.

Is that because it renders the same code as Presto, Gecko, and WebKit, or because these sites are using modern HTML, CSS and JS that require it to first look at which browser is being used and then pushing older code for IE browsers?
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post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Guys, this browser is not meant to replace safari. If something doesn't render correctly in opera, open safari and get. over. it.

After over a million downloads in this short period of time, I think it's clear to Jobs that people DO want choice in their browsers.

I think it's more of a curiosity than anything. The real test would be how much traffic this generates and how long it continues to generate.
post #34 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Yes.

The browsing experience is not freaking terrible. It's not fantastic. But it's useful in certain situations.

AFAIC, the Acid 3 test is really only of academic concern for most users. It's a pissing contest between browser makers. I couldn't give a fig what Acid score it gets as long as the content is rendered. For instance, a 5/100 the IE gets really means nothing. It doesn't mean the software fails browsing. The entire www can be rendered by it (at least the entire www that doesn't do something stupid like sniff out user agents and turf a particular class of users). You can go on and on about standards and what not, but to most people it means nothing.

The Acid3 test is an indication of the support for HTML standards not just how a browser displays the page.

As was noted there's a lot of tests that are performed which cover the entire range of HTML support.

Acid3 largely tests HTML5 compatibility and with Apple pushing for HTML5 support it seems logical that their browsers will score highly.

By passing the Acid3 test completely it means Safari - at least desktop Safari - 100% supports HTML5 and so is the best browser for pushing support of the new standard. Desktop Opera is very close behind. FireFox is some way behind and Internet Explorer... well the less said about that the better.

Browsers can browse fine without passing Acid3 only because not many sites are using HTML5 yet but when more come along (something tells me iWeb is going to be instrumental in this for some reason) then browsers that fail Acid3 are not going to display anything properly.
post #35 of 74
Opera never thought that their browser would be accepted by Apple. Thus, the version they submitted was pretty shitty. Why waste resources on such a big gamble?

Let's wait until version 2 before passing judgement.
post #36 of 74
Opera for iPhone just plain sucks.
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Opera never thought that their browser would be accepted by Apple. Thus, the version they submitted was pretty shitty. Why waste resources on such a big gamble?

Let's wait until version 2 before passing judgement.

That's really the lamest defense of crappy software I've ever read, and it's been given twice. Well, most users won't even bother to take a look at v2, so I guess they were too clever for their own good.
post #38 of 74
I like the concept of compressing websites for mobile use, but they could've solved so much headache if they just use webkit on iPhone.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Opera never thought that their browser would be accepted by Apple. Thus, the version they submitted was pretty shitty. Why waste resources on such a big gamble?

Let's wait until version 2 before passing judgement.

what an amusing thought: apple approved it to shut them up.
post #40 of 74
Fat lady singing on this sum b'ich

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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