Opera submits iPhone browser to Apple for App Store review

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Opera on Tuesday revealed it has submitted its mobile browser, which relies on server-side compression to offer faster mobile Web browsing, to the iPhone App Store, where it now awaits Apple's review.



"The Opera Mini for iPhone sneak peek during MWC told us that we have something special," Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera Software, said in a press release. "Opera has put every effort into creating a customized, stylized, feature-rich and highly responsive browser that masterfully combines iPhone capabilities with Opera?s renowned Web experience, and the result is a high performing browser for the iPhone."



The company has advertised that its server-side rendering allows compression of data by up to 90 percent.



Nick Bilton of The New York Times used the latest version of Opera Mini for iPhone, and reported Tuesday that the browser "loaded pages extremely quickly." He also said the browser offers features unavailable in Apple's own Mobile Safari, including the ability to search the content of a Web page.



But Opera Mobile also lacks one defining feature of the iPhone: pinch-to-zoom capabilities. The feature could reportedly be added in a future release of the software -- if Apple allows.



Last month, Opera began touting the speed of its mobile browser, which uses a special form of compression to render Web pages more quickly. Before its official unveiling, talk of Opera Mini for iPhone occurred soon after the App Store opened in 2008.







Until now, Apple has rejected any browsers that are not based on the WebKit engine built into the iPhone OS. The Cupertino, Calif., company has not indicated that it has changed its policies, suggesting that Apple could reject Opera's submission.



Officials with Opera have said they believe there is no reason for Apple to reject the Opera Mini browser from the App Store. Opera's mobile browser is not based on the WebKit open source project.







Opera's iPhone browser reportedly achieves speeds up to six times faster than Apple's Safari when running over 3G. The alleged superior speeds are achieved through compression technology used by the company that allows less data transfer by using the company's servers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    It will be rejected and the Fanboys will rejoice.
  • Reply 2 of 123
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,606member
    I say let it through. I wouldn't mind having an alternative to Safari to use.
  • Reply 3 of 123
    I really hope that this one will get through, although chances are little to none. :-(
  • Reply 4 of 123
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 551member
    If it does not get through - the European Union will make them let it get through. At least in Europe.
  • Reply 5 of 123
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    No pinch-to-zoom, and there *will* be page-rendering issues.
  • Reply 6 of 123
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Yes but in any low signal/bitrate situations it will be great, opera has no equal in that in moblie tec, long time in the game.
  • Reply 7 of 123
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,616member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Until now, Apple has rejected any browsers that are not based on the WebKit engine built into the iPhone OS.



    Have they? I wasn't aware any had even been submitted for approval.
  • Reply 8 of 123
    From the Opera mini browser FAQ



    Quote:

    Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and ? for example ? paypal.com or my bank?



    No. If you need full end-to-end encryption, you should use a full Web browser such as Opera Mobile.



    Opera Mini uses a transcoder server to translate HTML/CSS/JavaScript into a more compact format. It will also shrink any images to fit the screen of your handset. This translation step makes Opera Mini fast, small, and also very cheap to use. To be able to do this translation, the Opera Mini server needs to have access to the unencrypted version of the Web page. Therefore no end-to-end encryption between the client and the remote Web server is possible.



    I'll pass.
  • Reply 9 of 123
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mr_cazorp View Post


    From the Opera mini browser FAQ







    I'll pass.



    Whoops. The Opera Mini wagon just lost a wheel.



    Will stick with iCab Mobile, thanks.
  • Reply 10 of 123
    gariongarion Posts: 62member
    I'm not an iPhone owner myself, so I'll have to ask you guys: Are there any other browsers available for the iPhone in the App Store today, other than Apple's own mobile Safari?



    I thought it was generally understood that Apple won't accept competing browsers to Safari?
  • Reply 11 of 123
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Garion View Post


    I'm not an iPhone owner myself, so I'll have to ask you guys: Are there any other browsers available for the iPhone in the App Store today, other than Apple's own mobile Safari?



    Apple does allow competing browsers-such as iCab-just not alternate rendering engines (which, presumably, can fall foul of the "no apps that can execute arbitrary code rule"). Firefox runs on Gecko, so it doesn’t get on. Opera runs on Presto, so it didn't get on - yet. iCab runs on WebKit, and so Apple says "fine".
  • Reply 12 of 123
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Opera on Tuesday revealed it has submitted its mobile browser, which relies on server-side compression to offer faster mobile Web browsing, to the iPhone App Store, where it now awaits Apple's review. ...



    I hope they allow it, but force them to call it something else besides a web browser.



    I know at least four or five people with an iPhone that would have no idea why the Opera "browser" is faster than anything else and what the downside is to that. I don't think it's fair to put it on the same shelf as other browsers when it uses a completely different technology and say it's the same thing.



    A technology with a huge downside to the consumer that Opera never talks about much and that the average consumer has no way of knowing about unless they are a techie.



    Edit: The more I think about it, Opera will probably refuse the idea that they have to put scary warnings on it and make it obvious to the end user how insecure the thing is, so they probably won't ever be approved. There are more reasons to dis-allow this based on consumer "expectation" and safety than half a dozen other things that weren't approved so maybe it will just be rejected after all.
  • Reply 13 of 123
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Opera drives down the lane, no weakside help, for the dunk and rejected!
  • Reply 14 of 123
    senjazsenjaz Posts: 26member
    The problem is that a browser engine provides a javascript runtime, and runtime environments are specifically banned by the iPhone developer agreement.



    This is why webkit browsers are allowed. You link to the browser engine provided by Apple. A browser that included it's own statically linked version of webkit would also likely be disallowed.



    There have been some strange apps that have fallen through the net. Sega has released some of its classic games on the iPhone using emulation, which is also against the iPhone developer agreement. However these apps do not provide an interface for the user to run their choice of software on the emulator.



    I think this rule comes from Apple's fear that another company will develop a way to produce iPhone apps that doesn't use their system. Unfortunately the same rule prevents certain other types of software being sold on the app store.



    I think Apple should allow the Opera browser onto the iPhone. They need to point out that the app is against the rules and is specifically being granted a one-time exception.
  • Reply 15 of 123
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,353member
    I'm a little surprised that 3G wireless carriers don't already implement compression of all data that gets sent over their networks. Wouldn't that speed up everything? Or is that too complicated? Or is it already done but this is something different??
  • Reply 16 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post


    If it does not get through - the European Union will make them let it get through. At least in Europe.



    Yeah, rejection of Opera for no good reason other than to restrict competition will expose Apple to a complaint for breach of EU Competition Law. Personally I don't see why Apple should say no. They don't ban Firefox or Chrome from running on Mac OS X and this should be no different. A bit of healthy competition is a good thing and will keep Apple on their toes.



    I'd like to give this Opera browser on iPhone a try: it looks quick and neat, plus the browser history and tab navigation look like they stomp all over Safari.
  • Reply 17 of 123
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    The video is very impressive, it's clearly massively quicker than Safari.

    If Apple reject this, as they presumably will, I hope Opera will kick up a massive stick.
  • Reply 18 of 123
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,302member
    Duplicates functions of the iPhone. Rejected.
  • Reply 19 of 123
    The only thing that I am concerned with is that I hope you aren't using the unencrypted version of the webpages. That means you couldn't use this for sensitive transactions such as online purchases and banking, otherwise, you have some explaining to do.
  • Reply 20 of 123
    I would easy pay 10 USD or more for this tech on the iPhone! If Steve does not accept this app then he has lost it. Is there any reason not to accept this outstanding app? If it is rejected I would support any legal case against Apple and convince all I know to do the same.
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