Opera Mini finally gets an update on iOS

Opera Mini finally gets an update on iOS

It has been a while since Opera Mini for iOS was updated. It stuck with the old UI for a while and never got a refresh when Apple's iOS moved to the flatter design with iOS 7.

Now, they have finally refreshed the browser and it is available for download at the iTunes Store today.

Opera Mini Web browser

Why Opera Mini?

Opera Mini finally gets an update on iOS

I heard about Opera Mini when I was using the Nokia E71. Back then, we had limited amount of Internet data; and Opera Mini helped to minimize how much Internet data we used. It became a very popular mobile Web browser.

These days, I am using Safari and Chrome mobile browser as I have access to unlimited Internet data at work and Wi-Fi at home.

Opera Mini has this legacy way of preventing data hogging. In Nigeria and most parts of the emerging markets, most Internet users are on capped data plans and there's lhardy any public Wi-Fi access.

To efficiently use their capped data plans, many have turned to using Opera Mini.

Opera Mini Super Cache Feature

Another thing that made Opera Mini awesome to many of its long standing fans is that it caches Web pages. I updated to Opera Mini 8 on my iPad, but found out that this cache feature isn't working as it used to work.

On returning to a page being viewed on the previous version of Opera Mini, the page opens up without refreshing (whether one has Internet access or not). As it is now, Opera Mini 8 doesn't have this superb feature.

On returning to a page I previously opened, without internet access, the page reloads and I was still able to view the page. It won't refresh in the previous version. I'll keep using it to see if Opera has completely changed the way cache used to work and why.

Opera Mini 8 for iOS

Opera has finally updated Opera Mini to use the flat design similar to that of iOS 7. This flat design brings Opera Mini 8 at par, design wise, with other apps that have since been updated.

The Opera Mini isn't just available for iPhone and iPod touch, but is also compatible with iPad. I downloaded it to my iPad Mini Retina and it works just fine.

According to a release from Opera, some of the features you'll enjoy include:

  • Huge compression of web traffic, up to 90%, and data savings. In areas with poor coverage and tough network conditions Opera Mini saves both time and money.

  • Opera Turbo mode saves slightly less data than Opera Mini mode, but offers better website compatibility, making it the ideal browsing mode for most users.

  • Data savings off is a no-compression, straight-to-the-source option, that ensures maximum website compatibility.

These different modes keep the user in charge. If you happen to be in a foreign country and you're roaming, the mode that saves data by 90% will be your best option.

I spoke to a friend two days ago and she mentioned that she never knew there's Opera Mini for iOS devices. I'm not surprised, she lives in London and she has access to cheaper capped data and Wi-Fi at home. If you're yet to try Opera Mini, you should give it a spin on your iPad, iPod Touch and iPad.

Press Release

*Oslo, Norway — 26 June, 2014 — Introducing Opera Mini 8 - the biggest update for the Opera Mini mobile browser on iPhone and iPad to date.

Available for free in the Apple App Store today, Opera Mini 8 will get you to anywhere on the web faster, cheaper and with a brand new native UI look for iOS 7.

Opera Mini 8 lets you choose from three different modes of exploring the vast world of the web:

Opera Mini mode offers huge compression of web traffic, up to 90%, and data savings. In areas with poor coverage and tough network conditions Opera Mini saves both time and money.

Opera Turbo mode saves slightly less data than Opera Mini mode, but offers better website compatibility, making it the ideal browsing mode for most users.

Data savings off is a no-compression, straight-to-the-source option, that ensures maximum website compatibility.

You can set the different modes as you see fit, e.g., disabling compression on your workplace’s high-speed Wi-Fi, using Opera Turbo with your regular data plan and Opera Mini when traveling abroad. Three options, all in a single web browser, all on your iOS device. Opera Mini has long been a must for people on the go, roaming to distant places of the world, and, with Opera Mini 8, it takes its place as the all-inclusive alternative web browser.

Beauty is way more than skin deep

On the surface, Opera Mini 8 for iOS has gone through a radical redesign and now sports a fully iOS 7 (and higher) compatible flat design, using transparency to visualize layers. All design elements have been completely re-built from the ground up, to fit in with iOS styling and the familiar user friendliness of Opera’s smartphone browsers. Don’t like the default looks of Opera Mini 8? Just pick another of the sleek themes available to make it feel more yours.

Go, go, Speed Dial racer!

From the Speed Dial page, you can either select one of several customizable Speed Dial entries to visit a favorite site, or, by swiping to the left, immediately get fresh content from the Discover feature, which lets you choose the content you want, from a long list of options. The Discover feature will then provide fresh content from a rich variety of high-quality news websites, blogs and more for a super-easy overview of what’s new on the web. Once you’ve selected an article and tapped it to read more, swipe left and right to read more articles tailored to your preferences.

Stack it up

Managing open web sites is simpler than ever, with the new tab gallery. Opera Mini now shows every tab neatly stacked for a quick overview, so you can handle sites with simple gestures. Swipe left and right to quickly leaf through the open tabs, or swipe up on an open page to close it. Want some privacy? Just select “New Private Tab” from the menu, and you’re all set. You can even switch easily between your private and non-private tabs, keeping their open pages separate. Want to start the day with a clean slate in the browser? Select “Close All” to get that zen feeling of no open pages to worry about.

There is so much more in this update, we have to resort to bullet points yet again:

The combined search and address bar means you can get search suggestions or go to a web address right away.

The new QR reader is a nifty addition, as is the ability to share URLs via QR code.

Easy editing of addresses and search terms using a slider means no more hunt-and-peck to put the cursor where you want it.

The ability to switch search providers easily means more efficient searching. Want to check if that actor was in that movie with that other guy a few years ago? Just enter his name and select “IMDB” as the search option, to get the facts directly from IMDB. This works with providers such as Amazon, eBay and Wikipedia, too.

The Opera Mini 8 browser is available for free in the Apple App Store today.

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