Opera unveils new 'Ice' mobile web browser for iOS and Android

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Opera Software on Friday unveiled its latest project, a WebKit-based mobile browser called "Opera Ice" that is specifically designed for screen formats seen on popular smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone and iPad.

Opera


In an internal video released on Friday (via Pocket-lint), Opera gave a brief look at a beta of the new app, which features an icon-based interface much like the optional homescreens seen on desktop versions of Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome browsers.

According to the developers, the app was designed to hide the usual clutter seen with modern web browsers, including the ubiquitous URL bar, that takes up limited screen real estate on mobile devices. The so-called "full touch browser" does away with buttons and menus to create a spartan user interface driven by screen taps and gestures.

Instead of the Presto rendering engine that Opera has used for years, Ice is based on WebKit, the same engine used by both Apple and Google. The move is meant to keep Opera in the fast-changing mobile market.

"We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android," said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen.





As for the company's current mobile solution, Opera mini, Boilesen said that it won't be replaced by Ice. Instead, the platform will be leveraged to generate users that will eventually be migrated over to new mobile apps. Opera Ice is expected to debut sometime in February, while a new unannounced desktop browser is slated for a March release.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    I like Opera, i really do. But Safari (mac and iOS) is by far the fastest (and better looking) browser we can use.
  • Reply 2 of 77
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I like Opera, i really do. But Safari (mac and iOS) is by far the fastest (and better looking) browser we can use.

    I like all the ideas they've brought forth to the browser market but there is no way I'd replace Safari on any platform with Opera.
  • Reply 3 of 77
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,590member
    I like Opera, i really do. But Safari (mac and iOS) is by far the fastest (and better looking) browser we can use.
    Yup
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I like all the ideas they've brought forth to the browser market but there is no way I'd replace Safari on any platform with Opera.
    Yup
  • Reply 4 of 77
    I use Opera on Windows, and I use it on OS X mainly because of the synchronization feature. If Apple still had Safari around on Windows (with iCloud support), I might use that.

    I don't use it on iOS, though, because it's that compression technology and just doesn't work that well with most sites. I do like its interface, though, and will happily try out Ice. I'm using Chrome right now, but Opera's speed dial feature is so much better...
  • Reply 5 of 77
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    cinder6 wrote: »
    I use Opera on Windows, and I use it on OS X mainly because of the synchronization feature. If Apple still had Safari around on Windows (with iCloud support), I might use that.

    I don't use it on iOS, though, because it's that compression technology and just doesn't work that well with most sites. I do like its interface, though, and will happily try out Ice. I'm using Chrome right now, but Opera's speed dial feature is so much better...

    I wish Apple still made Safari for Windows. That was my go to browser on my parent's PC.
  • Reply 6 of 77


    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

    I wish Apple still made Safari for Windows. That was my go to browser on my parent's PC.


     


    I will never understand that. They could have at least put out one last hurrah with a 6.0 and left it at that. Yeah, "Webkit has exposure now", but I'll use Safari 5 in Windows before I ever use anything else at any point in the future.

  • Reply 7 of 77
    I love all OS's, and I guess (according to the previous posts) one can only appreciate browsers such as Firefox and Opera when using cross platforms such as Linux and Windoze... I personally hate Safari. It lacks things I need and rely on daily. Not to mention, much slower in comparison to the others. I'm a long time FF user, and it does everything and more than Safari. Opera is good, but it's not as robust as FF. But Competition is good, so I encourage Opera to keep on.
  • Reply 8 of 77


    Really!?!? IMHO Safari and iTunes is the biggest hunk of junk on Windows.  iTunes still sucks on OS X.  One of Apples biggest headaches.

     

  • Reply 9 of 77
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    I can never escape the feeling that there is something terribly terribly wrong with people who like and use Opera.  


     


    Everything about their products seems different from others, but never for a good reason.  


    One always gets the impression that they are chasing difference for different's sake alone. 

  • Reply 10 of 77
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Colper View Post


    Really!?!? IMHO Safari and iTunes is the biggest hunk of junk on Windows.  iTunes still sucks on OS X.  One of Apples biggest headaches.

     



     


    I wouldn't say iTunes interface "sucks."  With iTunes 11 they have clearly moved from "sucks" to "half-assed."  


     


    They are only a couple of iterations away from "not awful" now.  image

  • Reply 11 of 77
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I wouldn't say iTunes interface "sucks."  With iTunes 11 they have clearly moved from "sucks" to "half-assed."  

    They are only a couple of iterations away from "not awful" now.  :)

    I'm quite a fan of the new iTunes 11 UI. I used to keep only my music, apps, Podcasts, and iTunesU content in iTunes with all my movies and TV shows in the ~/Movies folder for manually access. Since iTunes 11 arrived I have used iVI to convert every single file in that folder to an iTunes acceptable format with the proper metadata for access via iTunes.


    iVI has a few quirks that are annoying but it's the best option available at any price and at under $10 it's a steal. One lovely feature I don't see with other programs is its ability to take an H.264 encoded MKV file and strip the MKV container for an M4V container with all the proper metadata without any re-encoding. Most programs just aren't smart enough to do a container swap.

    Ironically, because I now have an Apple TV v3 that has an all or nothing feature (or bug) for sharing a library I have removed all the music from my iTunes library. I have iTunes Match, which I have a lot of negative feeling toward as it's mucked up my playlists on my iPhone, but for right now it's working fine and that's how I am keeping my music library intact.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I wouldn't say iTunes interface "sucks."  With iTunes 11 they have clearly moved from "sucks" to "half-assed."  

    They are only a couple of iterations away from "not awful" now.  :)
    iTunes 11 is a breath of fresh air conpared to every other version before it.

    I'm just glad Apple had the balls to overhaul it.

    Gives me hope they'll do something similar to iOS.

    Of course the biggest worry is they'll have a Final Cut X blunder again but I'm hoping for the best from them.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    insikeinsike Posts: 188member
    I can never escape the feeling that gazoobee simply can't comment on the actual story.
  • Reply 14 of 77
    Safari all the way for me.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    Safari and iTunes integrate well in OS X, but in Windows sucks. I have Windows Server 2012 and i installed iTunes for Windows and it feel out of place. Quicktime specially in Windows still in version 7 and the UI is still from Windows 2000. They have not update Quicktime UI in Windows for more than 12 years. iTunes in Windows install extra crap that most Windows users will never touch. I am an Apple fan and user as well, i have an iPhone, ibook and a powermac. I am in the future thinking to buy a new Apple laptop.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    I like Opera's features. Unfortunately they don't work well all of the time. I use Firefox because it syncs between OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows. I like Dropbox for the same reason. Safari is fast but lacks features compared to others.

    The Opera browser ALWAYS messes up videos and it renders pages in different, unpleasant ways. It's turbo feature doesn't work well for me. Some people on forums love Opera. To me it's just buggy. I hope they get the mobile version right. Then they can move on to making the desktop versions work on all platforms. If they did that I'd consider switching to it.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    solipsismx wrote: »

    I'm quite a fan of the new iTunes 11 UI. I used to keep only my music, apps, Podcasts, and iTunesU content in iTunes with all my movies and TV shows in the ~/Movies folder for manually access. Since iTunes 11 arrived I have used iVI to convert every single file in that folder to an iTunes acceptable format with the proper metadata for access via iTunes.


    iVI has a few quirks that are annoying but it's the best option available at any price and at under $10 it's a steal. One lovely feature I don't see with other programs is its ability to take an H.264 encoded MKV file and strip the MKV container for an M4V container with all the proper metadata without any re-encoding. Most programs just aren't smart enough to do a container swap..

    That certainly looks like Today's Top Tip!

    I, too, have all my movies, concerts et cetera in a folder and not in iTunes because of the vast amount of different formats. I presume a container swap works in a jiffy? Not that my Mac can't do massive amounts of re-encoding, but I prefer to leave the source alone. I'll take a peek it this software, thanks.
  • Reply 18 of 77

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I can never escape the feeling that there is something terribly terribly wrong with people who like and use Opera.  


     


    Everything about their products seems different from others, but never for a good reason.  


    One always gets the impression that they are chasing difference for different's sake alone. 





    That's a rather silly attitude, frankly.  First, different for the sake of being different isn't inherently a bad thing.  If you're willing to try new things, you might stumble upon the next big thing.  Second, it doesn't matter--Opera on the desktop works the same as other browsers.  There are a couple of UI changes I would make, but overall I quite like it.  I use OS X and Windows, so I need a cross-platform that syncs between browsers.  On my machines, it's faster at rendering pages and more stable than Firefox, and has a quicker UI than Chrome.  As a bonus, I trust the Opera folks more than I do Google, as they have much less of my data to begin with.


     


    But what I really like is tab stacking.  It's turned out invaluable for research papers I've written.


     


    Anyway, after actually watching the Ice video, I'm more on the fence than I'd expected.  It certainly looks fancy and incorporates that neato search feature from that Yahoo browser, but I worry the new tab implementation might be a step backwards, and I don't see a way to simply access an address bar.  I'm still looking forward to it, though.

  • Reply 19 of 77

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by maclancer View Post



    I am in the future thinking to buy a new Apple laptop.


     


    And the cynic in me has that statement nailed down as the number 1 reason why the windows versions will never be as good as the mac versions....

  • Reply 20 of 77


    Well, I use Safari 99% of the time I'm browsing.


     


    The "problem" is, FLASH. Remember flash? I hate all things adobe (much more than google) so i refuse to go to their site and download that poor coded resource hog pile of trash (like all things adobe). However sometimes I need flash, especially for cycling feeds during the year, youtube videos, you know the drill.


     


    There's only one browser with flash built-in, and I must have it installed. There's no problem with that, Chrome is a good browser, right? Very fast, clean interface. The thing is... I can't stop using safari. It's so much faster and pleasant to use: faster scrolling, amazing and faster gestures, amazing sharing options and great looks! I thought Chrome was the way to go, especially because of Windows bootcamp. Guess what? I can't stand Windows anymore, I can't stand using another trackpad (Windows PCs)... So I don't need to "sync".


     


    But I still need Chrome. Do I have alternative? I know I could use Safari+click to flash, but i just enjoy keeping Safari "pure", it's so fast! (I used IE since 2000 to 2011, maybe this explains why I love Safari so much. :) )


     


    Everyone I know either uses 100% Safari with flash, or Chrome or Firefox. I fail to see a market for Opera. I fail to see what is their point, their goal... Why not ally with a better browser and make it even better?


     


    http://lifehacker.com/5948212/browser-speed-tests-mac-edition-chrome-22-firefox-15-safari-6-and-opera-1202

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