So, today(2010-04-13) it was announced that Opera Mini for the iPhone had been accepted by Apple and indeed it was revealed in the Appstore within a few hours.
[caption id="attachment_272" align="alignnone" width="320" caption="Questionable Recursion"][/caption]
Unfortunately, the last awards that this yesterday-tech browser received were before the epoch of Safari on the iPhone. Compared to the sorry state of the browser on my BlackBerry, yes, this is a nice change; but it just doesn't deliver the experience that people expect on contemporary devices, let alone a Safari commensurate experience that is already present on the iPhone.
Now this is all fine and good, if this web experience speaks to you; but is this just Steve having fun with Opera? Something akin to the poison pill that he force fed Adobe and others in the as-yet-to-be-released iPhone OS 4 developer agreement?
The thing is, Opera, like any good software developer, likes to make maximum reuse of it's code. Case in point, their Android version of Opera mini, instead of rewriting their software to work with the OS, they rewrote the OS; they went as far as implementing a J2ME translation layer for Android to allow their browser to run unmodified.
Now, it is difficult to tell if Opera Mini on the iPhone is using native widgets, they all have a kind of an uncanny valley look to them, and there is explicit evidence against them being native. For one, try doing a copy and paste operation, this is definitely not the native iPhone OS cut and paste experience. This duality of experience is exactly what Apple is attempting to quash with their new developer agreement.
[caption id="attachment_278" align="alignnone" width="320" caption="Cut and Paste"][/caption]
Are you; a user of the original iPhone with only Edge connectivity (or running the 3G variants hacked on T-Mobile, ahem); into a jolting, pixelated web experience; yearn for the days of RIP BBSs; or an Opera fan-person? Don't mind that this experience may end abruptly when you upgrade your iPhone to OS4? Then this may be the browser for you.