Whoa, can it be true? Apparently it is. Of course, we're talking about Opera Mini
becoming publicly available on the App Store, marking a huge, huge change in the way Apple handles certain software titles.
In the past, Apple
has been very quick to strike down any app submission that does "similar things" to apps that come pre-loaded on the iPhone, with a few exceptions. The Weather Channel and WeatherBug both have weather apps approved even though a Weather app arrives on the iPhone and iPod touch, but other than that, most everything else has seen a rejection. Developers have seen e-mail apps rejected due to being too similar to Apple's own Mail app, despite the fact that many users are longing for a more robust alternative.
One thing that Apple has remained consistent about what that Mobile Safari was to be the one and only Web browser in the App Store. There wasn't really any wiggle room. When Opera announced a few months ago that they were submitting a version of their highly popular (and quite robust) Opera Mini browser to the App Store, most just laughed. No way Apple would approve it, most thought.
But today, the company has reached the finish line, and victory is in hand. Beginning in the next 24 hours (depending on market), Opera Mini will show up for free in the App Store, bringing a real browsing alternative to iPod touch and iPhone users. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it certainly is true. We're eager to give it a chance and see what it can do that Mobile Safari cannot. Will Flash videos even attempt to load? Will pages load faster? Will text render more clearly? Keep an eye on the App Store and be sure to give it a shot when it becomes available for download. At the very least, it's fantastic to see Apple allowing open competition in the App Store, even when these apps compete directly with Apple.
Opera Mini App approved for the App Store
Oslo, Norway - April 13, 2010 - Opera today announced its popular
mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch
on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download
within 24 hours, depending on market.
Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast
mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before
sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page
loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on
slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the
Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money
because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially
true while the user is incurring roaming charges.
"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing
experience with the Opera Mini App," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera
Software. “This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the
Web to more people in more places."
The Opera Mini App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.