Opera Mini for iPhone fails Acid3 test

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.



«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    What's the point of this browser? Really.
  • Reply 2 of 73
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 73
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 73
    It's fast, but it looks awful. You can't read almost anything on nytimes.com unless you zoom in.
  • Reply 5 of 73
    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-
  • Reply 6 of 73
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,611member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 73
    ricmacricmac Posts: 63member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 73
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 73
    davidtdavidt Posts: 112member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 73
    insikeinsike Posts: 188member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 73
    floccusfloccus Posts: 138member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 73
    insikeinsike Posts: 188member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 73
    insikeinsike Posts: 188member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 73
    acemelacemel Posts: 1member
    I just took the Acid3 test with Opera on my iPhone 3GS and got a 97/100 score \
  • Reply 15 of 73
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 73
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 73
    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"?
  • Reply 18 of 73
    insikeinsike Posts: 188member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 73
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 73
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.