Opera Mini 6 available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

It's been almost a year since Opera Mini made its debut on iOS. Upon its release, it shot right up to taking the #1 spot for free applications in almost all regional locales for the App Store. Its popularity was and continues to be the compression it applies to your web traffic, which not only speeds up loading of sites on slow networks (not necessarily the case for Wi-Fi connections, however), but it saves a ton of data off your data usage bill. Opera claims its compression can reduce up to 90% of data usage.

Despite its popularity, the browser had its flaws, at least on the iOS version. The initial release lacked inertial scrolling. The fonts were limited to only one type and had kerning issues (fonts were too spaced out). There were only two zoom levels, and on the lowest level, the browser did a cheap trick by replacing the fonts with generic rectangular bitmaps. Also, given that the pages were sent as optimized bytecode to the device from Opera's servers, some pages had a broken layout. And finally, the browser wasn't optimized for the Retina Display resolution, giving the browser a blurry appearance on iPhone 4 and the iPod touch 4.

These issues have been addressed in Opera Mini 6, which is now available for all iOS devices - iPhone, iPod touch, and an iPad-optimized version.

The browsing experience has been much improved, with a restyled header and footer, giving it a dark Safari-like appearance. Font rendering, zooming, and panning are all much on par with Safari - page zooming has a nice fade effect for bringing in "checkerboarded" areas of the page into view. Some pages still appear a bit broken, but there's little Opera can do in this regard unless people move over to Opera Mobile (or if Apple ever changes their App Store policies). And finally, the browser still boasts instant forward and back page navigation.

Here's a quick comparison of Neowin's front page rendered in both Opera Mini and Safari:

You may download the browser from this link and read the offical blog post here. Also check out the gallery below for full sized screenshots of the browser.

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24 Comments

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When you're out in the bush with dodgy 3G or EDGE connection, Opera Mini saves you the trouble of waiting forever to view a site when you just want to look up something. Love it for those "I'm just gonna google what you said to see if it is true" moments

Flatval said,
When you're out in the bush with dodgy 3G or EDGE connection, Opera Mini saves you the trouble of waiting forever to view a site when you just want to look up something. Love it for those "I'm just gonna google what you said to see if it is true" moments

Dude not anymore I will be soley using Opera now.. its awesome. Safari is great at what it does but Opera have jumped a MASSIVE leap since their last release wow.

With all the new features, including it synchronizing bookmarks (in the Opera Mini folder) & Speed Dial with Opera on desktop both on PC and Mac via Opera Link, it has made me switch from Safari. I really enjoy using it! Quite easily better than Safari Mobile IMO.

Northgrove said,
With all the new features, including it synchronizing bookmarks (in the Opera Mini folder) & Speed Dial with Opera on desktop both on PC and Mac via Opera Link, it has made me switch from Safari. I really enjoy using it! Quite easily better than Safari Mobile IMO.

After using it for about 30 mins I think I totally agree with this I love it! Even the transitions look great as well as the smooth zooming now its perfect.. Opera really have done well here. I just wish Gmail Mobile rendered like it does in Safari.. it looks real basic when in the new Opera. Anyone else noticed that?

Im downloading this now, I was really excited about the old release but it failed quite a bit in many ways as described in the article. I will give this a good test for a week and leave a review on the App Store.

Since they sorted out the scrolling function this is close to replacing safari on my iPhone now. Going through their proxy server seems to add a little lag for me but where I really want to test it is with Onavo out and about.

Opera mini with Onavo for iphone could really cut down on data bills for me.

Opera Mini 6 is really good. It allows me to browse over EDGE on my simple Sony Ericsson featurephone at a speed comparable (or even higher) than browsing is in iOS and/or Gingerbread. Sure you don't get all the fancy Javascripts and animations and Flash, but in return you get the fastest mobile browsing experience you can get.

Opera Mini always gave me trouble too. But Opera Mobile always seemed to work well. It's almost like they're two different browsers! I don't have an iPhone/Pad so I can only speak as an Android user, however.

Educated Idiot said,
Opera Mini always gave me trouble too. But Opera Mobile always seemed to work well. It's almost like they're two different browsers! I don't have an iPhone/Pad so I can only speak as an Android user, however.

One's a proper browser while the other can only work off bytecode. If Apple relaxes their rules then browsers with alternate rendering engines (i.e. Firefox) can make it to iOS, including Opera Mobile.

"Some pages still appear a bit broken"
This was what turned me off. I used to love Opera back in the old days before Chrome came out. But there were a few sites that didn't work well with it, so I decided to leave Opera (even until now in Opera 11)

:: Lyon :: said,
"Some pages still appear a bit broken"
This was what turned me off. I used to love Opera back in the old days before Chrome came out. But there were a few sites that didn't work well with it, so I decided to leave Opera (even until now in Opera 11)

This isn't running off of Opera's Desktop rendering engine - this is running off of a mobile compression engine.

Gow do people handle all that screen real estate taken by junk from both browsers.. Loving windows phone 7 sooo much these days.. Like is it really necessary to tell the person they are on an Ipod.. Pretty stupid if you ask me

Lachlan said,
Gow do people handle all that screen real estate taken by junk from both browsers.. Loving windows phone 7 sooo much these days.. Like is it really necessary to tell the person they are on an Ipod.. Pretty stupid if you ask me

Look at the seventh screenshot. There's barely any window chrome if you scroll away from the top of the page and turn on the fullscreen option.

Lachlan said,
Gow do people handle all that screen real estate taken by junk from both browsers.. Loving windows phone 7 sooo much these days.. Like is it really necessary to tell the person they are on an Ipod.. Pretty stupid if you ask me

Speaking of stupid... you are aware that "iPod" forms part of the operating system's status bar, not the browsers, right?

Lachlan said,
Like is it really necessary to tell the person they are on an Ipod.. Pretty stupid if you ask me

No but personally I think it is good to see the Wi-Fi indicator, time and battery at all times. Removing the word "iPod" or "iPad" from the top bar doesn't return any usable screen estate.

TCLN Ryster said,

Speaking of stupid... you are aware that "iPod" forms part of the operating system's status bar, not the browsers, right?
I hate when people do this kind of thing. There's no need to attack another poster and come off all high and mighty. Make the comment and move on.

Lachlan said,
Gow do people handle all that screen real estate taken by junk from both browsers.. Loving windows phone 7 sooo much these days.. Like is it really necessary to tell the person they are on an Ipod.. Pretty stupid if you ask me

Opera Mini 6 supports full-screen mode. Just the web page and nothing else besides a semi-transparent back button in the left corner, and a button to bring up the UI in the other corner.

But don't let facts and research come in your way...

.Neo said,

No but personally I think it is good to see the Wi-Fi indicator, time and battery at all times. Removing the word "iPod" or "iPad" from the top bar doesn't return any usable screen estate.
This!

Tim Dawg said,
I hate when people do this kind of thing. There's no need to attack another poster and come off all high and mighty. Make the comment and move on.

Just as I hate people acting like some kind of forum police, telling others what they can and cannot say. Besides, I was only responding in the same tone as the original poster. He felt the need to attack the browser, call it stupid and spout false information. I responded in kind (minus the false information bit hehe).

.Neo said,
Can't stand the black interface, especially not on my iPad 2.

And I can't stand the whole gray in my iPad. Reason which I jailbreak it, on the first place .