Opera Revamps Their iOS Browser, Now Supports iPad

Opera just released an update to its Opera Mini web browser this morning, which finally supports the iPad, bringing a slick new interface and awesome new features to its iOS browser.

It's become a common knowledge that the Norweigein company makes state of the art browsers and I'm sure that its tens of millions of users world-wide agree. I love Apple and their products, but it can't be denied that the Safari browser provided on iOS devices is nothing more than mediocre. It works fine but these days browsers are capable of so much more.

Back in 2010, when Opera Mini web browser was first launched, it was downloaded over 1 million times in 24 hours. Today, Opera Mini 6 just hit the App Store, for iPhone and iPad. I just downloaded the app on my iPad, and after a couple minutes playing around with it, I was impressed.

Most importantly Opera Mini 6 is beautiful and fast. Opera redesigned the menus and polished the interface to make it look great on an iPad. It's significantly faster than the other browsers clogging up the App Store. Opera Software claim that the Mini web browser features up to 90% compression of data traffic through their servers, loading your web pages in a snap.

My favorite addition has got to be the visual tabs. They allow you to have multiple pages open at once; managing and previewing your tabs has never been so elegant with the tab drawer. Next up is Speed Dial, a beautiful launchpad for your favorite sites (first screenshot).

The big O in the top left corner allows you to access a popup menu with Sharing options, History, Setting and Bookmarks.

There isn't an extensive list of settings but most of what you will need is covered. You can toggle a few things to increase the speed of the browser, switch off mobile view, and there a couple of privacy settings for those who want to rid their browser of any tracks.

There is also a built in saved pages feature, which does what you would expect it to do. This is a killer feature that poses a serious threat to all the page archiving apps out there. Opera managed to make everything extremely smooth, from pinch-to-zoom and panning to tab animations. You can now open pages in background tabs and its Air Print compatible.

It's worth noting that although Opera Mini has the potential of becoming the platform's best browser, it's still buggy. It seems that the app was released in its premature state. The main concern that seemed to be raised by early reviews was that whenever available Opera loaded the mobile version of the site, even if the setting was set to enable non-mobile browsing. This is a huge problem that Opera must fix quickly for iPad users to add it to their docks. Have you see how bad the Twitter mobile app looks on an iPad? Let us hope that Opera fixes this bug soon so I can spell out 'GTFO' on my iPad's dock.

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