[RANT] Why I Hate Opera Mini

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Games & Apps' started by JackWH, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. JackWH

    JackWH New Member

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    Wassup kids!

    My mummy always told me that "Hate is a very strong word", so think of this as more of a dislike thread. However, I will aim to be constructive.

    I'll be blunt here: I don't dislike Opera Mini because of a few bugs and quirks. As we all know, Opera has its flaws. A few of which particularly get to me are:
    • Silly caterpillar text when zoomed out
    • Tabs - the interface is awful
    • No ability to disable routing through Opera's servers (Facebook locked me out of my account saying someone else had accessed it)
    • Zooming/Pinch Zooming
    • etc. etc.

    I could go on but these aren't the reasons I dislike Opera. These are just bugs and quirks that will likely be fixed in upcoming releases.

    The reason I dislike Opera is because it doesn't feel like it belongs on an iPhone.

    Let me elaborate. Apple has something called their 'Human Interface Guidelines' - this is what makes prettymuch EVERY App on the App Store all have the same 'feel' to them. Once you've learnt how to use one app, you needn't relearn it again as Apple have already taught you how to apply these skills to other apps. The controls remain consistent and this is why people praise the iPhone's User Interface for its consistency and gorgeous design.

    However, Opera decided to go their own way. I praise Opera for standing up to Apple 's monopoly and releasing their own, non-UIWebView-based browser. But in not sticking to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines they kick their users in the shins for usability.

    Take, for example, the tabbed browsing. I think we will all agree here - it really is nothing impressive. The tabs are messy and awkward to navigate, and sure, this will no doubt be rectified soon. But this is where - if I were an Opera developer - would have used a UIPageControl:

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    (for non-developers this is an Apple interface component that lets you create 'pages' similar to the Weather App and Safari).

    Why? Because it stops the users from having to learn a navigation system all over again. Apple's professional interface designers have already worked out what works for users, and when Opera had the choice of using a tried-and-proven method for navigation they chose to create their own, clunky, unintuitive version. By using UIPageControl their users would know what to do instantly, not to mention saving time for Opera's dev team when they could've been fixing other bugs & making improvements.

    I continue by making a point about the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. This is a nice clean black one. Sure, the design is appealing. But again it doesn't FEEL (or at least to me...) that it belongs on an Apple Device. They didn't follow Apple's Human Interface Guidelines and use UIToolBar component, which - although customisation is a little more limited - feels more 'natural' to iPhone users.

    So that's just my - developer's - opinion. I suspect I will be flamed for this but pfft, never mind. To conclude my point, I believe that although Opera Mini has great promise as an alternative to Safari, it won't be replacing Safari anytime soon for me - since it feels unintuitive and requires the user to learn a whole new interface, when they had the opportunity to make Opera feel right at home on an iPhone. I don't want to learn and get the feel for a whole new interface, and I enjoy the consistencies among all my other iPhone Apps.

    Once again I'll stress that Opera does have some awesome features that Safari doesn't. But, it's just not for me.

    Jack

    (Super Bonus Mega Extra Rant! iPhone Mobile Website developers will now need to recode much of their designs to handle Opera's non-WebKit inconsistencies! Hooray!)

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  2. GeorgeGabriel

    GeorgeGabriel New Member

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    You know what..

    I could not possibly agree with you any more. This is a great writeup and exemplifies my thoughts exactly.
  3. JackWH

    JackWH New Member

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    Thank you very much!

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    I'm glad someone shares my view. Are you an Apple Developer or just a regular user who understands these HIG concepts?

    Edit: I should point out when I say 'understands these HIG concepts', I mean, you don't need to understand them, just acknowledge that they exist on Apple devices, e.g. know that scroll views give data-based applications a consistent feel
  4. GeorgeGabriel

    GeorgeGabriel New Member

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    Well 'officially' I'm a dev, I share a subscription with my father-in-law, but I've only really dabbled in the creative side of it.

    But yeah I totally get what you're saying, almost that every App has a generic Apple 'shell' by which to be followed, and when reading your post it makes it clear that that's why I can't get used to Opera, it doesn't feel like an iPhone App.
  5. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I agree but ive used it on the train to london once and already i know the interface well now. Its not difficult to learn it and makes it stand out from the usual web browser apps. Opera have to maintain their own branding and by using apples graphics and making it look like an apple app would remove this.

    I like it but i agree, it feels like your "putting up with it" just for the sake of using a different web browser. It has nothing amazing, except bypassing school blocking filters

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  6. Jibblejab

    Jibblejab New Member

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    Its like someone made a submarine out of metal and it caught on because it worked perfectly fine, but not once did some say "thats boring, why dont we make out submarine out of bread?..."

    Sorry that just came to mind, and I totally agree with you, the same interface and system has been used over and over for a reason, because it works.
  7. gdscei

    gdscei New Member

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    I agree.

    But, how can you hate something only because of looks?
    Look at my dev-side opera mini review or Jelly's. These discuss more stuff in it. Yours is just talking about hating and the looks. Listen to your mom, hate is a big word.
  8. JackWH

    JackWH New Member

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    Yes, hate is a big word. I don't dislike it only because of 'looks' - with iPhone Apps its not about what you're looking at, it's about what you're touching, interacting, and engaging with.

    The visual design is only the icing on the cake. You use your fingers to control it and trying to navigate amongst those Opera tabs doesn't feel right. Whereas using Apple's Page controller does. Yes, they both look different, but it's about how you connect and interact with it yourself that underlies all this.
  9. Jacob

    Jacob Well-Known Member

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    Good review, I agree with you on it for sure. I really hope they fix those bugs....

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  10. GeorgeGabriel

    GeorgeGabriel New Member

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    He's talking about how the UI WORKS, not just the way it looks.
    Don't be so ignorant.

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