Opera Mini review

Continue reading for an in-depth look at Opera Mini, a newly released browser to the App Store — an excellent and free alternative to Safari. Full credit goes to the author of the review who is our own iPod touch Fans’ user Jelly.

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a) Features: 5/5.
Opera Mini has a couple of nifty gadgets that will allow you to stay away from Mobile Safari.

1. One of these are: Find in page.
This option allows you to… well.. find text in a page. Very useful for big documents!

2. Another feature is the beautiful compression system.

This system compresses and caches the webpage on the server before it is pushed/sent to your iDevice. This makes web surfing really fast. Experience with this: I loaded an iPod touch fans thread with multiple images, and after 1 second, the whole thread finished loading.

3. Instead of double tapping to zoom, you just click on any area while you are zoomed out.

4. Fullscreen mode is another feature that Safari lacks.

5. Whether you are searching the web
(with the built in search), or typing a URL in the address bar, Opera Mini will give you some handy suggestions from the web and from your history/favorites.

6. In Opera Mini, you can choose different search providers
(Google, Wikipedia, etc) inside the app, while in Safari, you only get two search options: Google and Yahoo!. Also, in Safari, you can only switch between them in the Settings app.

b) GUI (Guided User Interface): 4.5/5
Opera Mini is truly beautiful, but there are flaws in every rose…. yeah.

1. Opera Mini included a beautiful home screen…
…where you can see 9 of your favorite websites. (In Safari, you don’t even have an option for a homepage. Blank screens=FAIL.)

2. Tabs are beautiful, yet confusing.
If you have Opera Mini, you will notice that it’s tabs are intuitive and sexy. They are like little screenshots through coverflow. But, scrolling through it… is nasty. Look at the jumbleness below. By the way, I’ve reached over 50 tabs on this browser. Looks like there’s no limit. (On my iPod touch 2G, I experienced a little lag after 20 tabs, and true lag after 50, no crashes though!)

c) Creativity of iPod/iPhone port: 4/5.
Opera didn’t work too long porting Opera Mini to the iPhone. It doesn’t even have multi-touch.

1. Zoomed out squiggles.
I don’t think they showed us this in the preview. When you are zoomed out, text turn into caterpillars. You can’t pinch to zoom, you just tap. Which is sad.

2. iPhone-esque.
I love how Opera gives off the iPhone look in some portions of it. But, what can I say? Every app is made by Apple’s SDK, so it must have some Apple in it!

Tools ala Opera Mini…

History gives off the Safari look…

d) Reuse Value: 4.5/5
I am ready to use this app instead of Safari. It has all the options Safari doesn’t. I would like some changes to make it more iPhoney: pinch to zoom (multi-touch), better tabs, etc.

e) Value For Money: 5/5
It’s FREE. I say, take it or leave it. Much better than Safari. The speeds are amazing, you get more search options, better favourite locations, page saving, find in page, and more. This is an amazing app and it should cost money, but I’m fine with free.

Overall, I rate Opera Mini…. 4.5/5 stars.

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