Opera for iPhone / iPod Touch Initial Thoughts

After initially being surprised to hear that Apple approved this, I proceeded to download and check this out. First impressions were good. The browser is very fast, it definitely appeared faster than Safari on the first gen iPod Touch that I have. I like the Chrome style new tab page and the selectable and customisable search engines. However there are some big snags I’ve quickly noticed. On youtube and other video sites, you can’t watch videos at all in the app which safari does let you do.

Another downside is that sometimes the touch screen feels too sensitive in this application and sometimes clicks things when you don’t mean to while just browsing around the new tab page for example.

Using the double tap to zoom and panning don’t feel as smooth and well done as in Safari and there is no rubber banding effect when you reach the edge of the page. This isn’t exactly a fault but it makes it feel less like an iPhone app and the feeling of the page just stopping is a strange one to get used to.

Overall, there aren’t a lot of problems with this app. If you want a good, fast browser and want the advantages in speed and some functionality that Opera brings, then it’s a good alternative to Safari.

Normally I would be put off by the lack of a wikipedia search box or a new tab page in safari but I’ve been using it for so long now that I’m used to it and have adapted how I use the browser. Therefore, for me I’m happy to stick with the official browser for the time being.

With that said, I am very excited to see the possible future offerings from Google and Mozilla should they create iPhone versions of Chrome and Firefox.