User reviews of Opera Mini on the iPhone: “Just incredible!”

Success!

I think it's safe to say that the launch of Opera Mini on the iPhone was a success!

Not only is Opera Mini the most downloaded application in the App Store, but the coverage in the press and blogosphere has been amazing. There is also a lot of very valuable feedback from people who know the various Apple platforms well, and they can help our Opera Mini team focus their resources for any future improvements to Opera Mini.

Regular people?

But while hearing from the Apple fans is great, a lot of the feedback is dominated by very specific things that have to do with platform integration and such. A different and equally important question is: What are people who are not necessarily long-time Apple fans saying? Those who came to use Apple products through iPods or iPhones, and don't necessarily have a deep knowledge of the Mac platform? …

To find out, I took a few minutes to look through some YouTube video reviews of Opera Mini on the iPhone. It turns out that YouTube is a great source of honest, personal reviews from regular people who might not normally have their voice heard. And I must say that the reviews I found from people out there are quite amazing.

I have summarized some of these video reviews below, so take a look, and please do watch their video reviews, and feel free to rate their videos and comment on them as a thanks for their efforts!

We want to encourage people to share their opinions, so show them your appreciation 🙂

Some quotes

  • "Fantastic!"
  • "Just incredible!"
  • "Super, super speedy!"
  • "Really smooth browser!"
  • "Loads incredibly fast!"
  • "Just pure, incredible speed!"
  • "This is a crazy fast browser!"
  • "Everything just runs a lot smoother!"
  • "I just have no words for this browser. It's just AMAZING!"
  • "I'm officially switching to Opera. This browser is great!"

The reviews

thetechzonelive's biggest complaint about the iPhone is Safari. It's slow! He finds Opera Mini's speed "just incredible""just pure, incredible speed". He also likes both the prewrapped text columns and the zooming and panning. His words for Apple are that "this is very sad, Apple. Your browser is horrible." About Opera, he says that "I have no words for this browser. It's just AMAZING", "pure amazing compared to the built-in browser."

Ditechite really likes that there is no checkerboard when scrolling. He would have liked to be able to set a manual zoom level, but still prefers Opera Mini to Safari. His conclusion is that Opera Mini is "pretty much the best browser on the iPod touch and the iPhone to date""so much better than Safari".

Appleinf0 finds Opera Mini to be a "way better alternative to Safari". It's faster and more useful, and has more features. He likes both Speed Dial and Opera's zooming implementation.

ItunesAppReviews had heard great things about Opera Mini, and will probably start using it since it's a lot faster than Safari. He definitely recommends it, and rates it 5/5 stars. "Everything just runs a lot smoother" he says.

iCrazeiPhone says that Opera Mini really beats Safari: "Look how quick that was!" I also think this was a brilliant statement: "If you are using the internet all the time: Opera Mini – that's the way to go!"

jnmiami actually thinks Safari is good, but he would "definitely choose Opera Mini because it's a lot better!" He really likes the way the tabbed browsing works.

TheRoyalTech thinks Opera has "really great" features, such as the "very smooth" tabbed browsing, and "the famous Speed Dial." He says that "pages do load very fast," and he likes that pages don't reload when he navigates back. He finds the long-press context menus more user-friendly than Safari, and likes the password manager as well. He thinks Opera Mini is "very snappy, very quick""something definitely opera excels on, and has my props for it." His only gripe is that there is no manual zoom level, although it works well for the most part. Overall, he gives Opera Mini a very good rating.

duncan33303 finds Opera Mini "super, super speedy." Like so many others, he likes the instant back button. And he says when comparing it to Safari: "Believe me guys, it's way faster!" He likes the "search with selected text" feature, and thinks "find in page" is a "fantastic feature." He concludes that "Opera Mini is a really, really great browser", and he would particularly recommend it to users of the original iPhone.

UrbnGeek actually likes Opera Mini's tap zoom better than Safari's zoom. Although he misses the "bounce" at the edge of the page, he seems impressed by Opera Mini: "Pages and images seem to just load flawlessly, and pretty quick."

ItsOnBTV thinks Opera Mini is a "really smooth browser, not like Safari." When loading Apple's site he notes that it "loads incredibly fast", and Twitter "flies open". He seems to find Opera to be very fast! He also likes the instant back navigation – "boom, boom, boom" he says as he smoothly and quickly navigates back without pages reloading. He says that "this is a crazy fast browser. Way better than Safari." His words to Apple are: "I'm sorry apple, but you guys got schooled on this app,", but he also gives "props to apple for showing some balls and releasing something that's better than their browser". He concludes: "I'm officially switching to Opera. This browser is great!"

Your reviews?

Do you have any other reviews to share? I'm particularly interested in "regular people", and not necessarily the long-time Mac users who have very strict requirements for what they consider a proper iApplication. The feedback from you Apple fans is of course very important, but face it, Apple is now reaching way beyond its Mac niche. It has reached new people, and I think it's important to hear their stories too!

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24 thoughts on “User reviews of Opera Mini on the iPhone: “Just incredible!”

  1. BBCClickWe just did a quick iPhone speed test over wifi. Opera Mini app (out this week) vs Safari. NY & LA Times loaded 4 x quicker in Opera!

  2. Is it possible to view those reviews on the Web?Madars: There seem to be a lot of long-time Apple users there. I was kind of trying to focus on other people.

  3. Except for the users who says it’s not native (meaning: different, something new) and don’t understand why they get the crappy versions of sites (meaning: the mobile version based on user-agent sniffing) it’s mostly been positive.

  4. Boy oh boy… there is a lot of negative opinion too. It seems to be put into two groups1. People who don't get that it goes via Opera servers and is reformatted for mobile browsing and think one or other is somehow sneaky or a bug ("Opera has all your data! Your bank details! OMG!" or "It fails ACID test dude!")or2. Apple-philes and it seems Mozilla-philes doing their usual bad mouthing of Opera… just coz.I mean, seriously, look at the ratings on Itunes. It's an almost *equal* split between 1 and 5 star ratings. Says it all.

  5. It looks to me like long-time Apple fans don't like that it isn't integrated very well with the OS, whereas people who just happen to own an iPhone and don't feel a strong attachment to the Apple brand mostly like it.Another thing is that the zooming becomes much better when one realizes that you only need to tap the screen where you want to zoom in. A lot of people seem to expect pinch-zooming exactly like in Safari, and are therefore frustrated.There are many possible improvements, of course, but an article in the WSJ indicated that there were early signs that people didn't just download it, but also kept using it.

  6. i am a pretty strong apple fan (not as strong as others) I like Opera Mini, I do know that this is the first one for the iPhone and it can only get better over time 🙂

  7. Originally posted by haavard:

    It looks to me like long-time Apple fans don't like that it isn't integrated very well with the OS, whereas people who just happen to own an iPhone and don't feel a strong attachment to the Apple brand mostly like it.

    I agree. iPhone has been training users for over 3 years now. Unless Mini has a particular method that is clearly more advantageous, then Opera should focus on what works extremely well in Mobile Safari. Im not saying to copy everything and disregard your own methods, but Apple has some great things working with Safari Mobile that Opera Mini could capitalize on to be more fluid. Thats the whole point of the iPhone… simple, seamless, and fast. Please work on the seamless part.Originally posted by haavard:

    Another thing is that the zooming becomes much better when one realizes that you only need to tap the screen where you want to zoom in. A lot of people seem to expect pinch-zooming exactly like in Safari, and are therefore frustrated.

    Yes partially true, but Safari Mobile's pinch-to-zoom give the user more control. Thats really the whole point of viewing the "full web" on iPhone's tiny screen… it allows the user to better control what I see and how I see it. Opera's tap method is restricted and limits my viewing needs. My fingers should be in control, not Opera's pre set notions for what it thinks I should be able to see.Originally posted by haavard:

    There are many possible improvements, of course, but an article in the WSJ indicated that there were early signs that people didn't just download it, but also kept using it.

    Oh yeah, here in SF people love it cause ATT is bad. If Opera could focus on 1) your Mini goals 2) what makes Safari mobile's individual strategy great and combine them more thoroughly… next people will ask Apple for the ability to delete Safari from iPhone (thats what Opera wants). I find myself knowing that Mini doesnt do "this" and "that" so I just go to Safari. Please give me a reason to push that Safari icon to the last page of my iPhone.Great start Opera. Please review what makes Safari so complete in its different screens/prompts, and duplicate some of those feature on Mini. Opera's got a potential Safari mobile killer in the works!Cheers!

  8. Originally posted by digitalinksmudge:

    I agree. iPhone has been training users for over 3 years now. Unless Mini has a particular method that is clearly more advantageous, then Opera should focus on what works extremely well in Mobile Safari.

    I don't think we are in agreement. You are saying that users have a strong attachment to Safari, while I pointed out that this is limited to a certain group of people. People without a strong attachment to the Apple brand and design seem to like Opera Mini.

    Please review what makes Safari so complete in its different screens/prompts, and duplicate some of those feature on Mini. Opera's got a potential Safari mobile killer in the works!

    Opera Mini is not meant to kill Safari, but rather to complement it. Opera Mini is not a full browser, so it will naturally have certain limitations compared to browsers like Opera Mobile.

  9. Great overview, Haavard, but I will say it would be safer to pop-up a quick HOW-TO on a new tab in an Opera Mini install. Most users will expect it to work with the device defaults…so, it may be easy for some to self-discover a single-tap to zoom-in & a two-finger-tap to zoom-out, but most will not (along with scaling-to-fit when rotating).To @digitallinksmudge's point, I think you're mostly right, Haavard, but one example is iPhone's select-cut/copy/paste. It IS a really superior design…though I love having "search" on selected text & open-in-new-tab with OM5 (but, again, if the select-text operation is fumbling, then it's less useful — or no way to see the URL of a link).Also, the "either/or" meme is annoying, OM5 is complement to mSafari since it's a proxy browser, as you said, even though I still use Opera 99% of the time now. ;)Looking fwd to interesting updates soon.

  10. Hi kamalesh,Originally posted by kamalesh:

    Great overview, Haavard, but I will say it would be safer to pop-up a quick HOW-TO on a new tab in an Opera Mini install. Most users will expect it to work with the device defaults…so, it may be easy for some to self-discover a single-tap to zoom-in & a two-finger-tap to zoom-out, but most will not (along with scaling-to-fit when rotating).

    Yes, I agree, great point. A how to, or iPhone FAQ website would be nice. I still dont get the "protocol: socket vs http" option. Where does Opera educate me about this? How do I select one of my specific user created searches to be default in Mini? I still have tons of bookmarks that have not synced… it seems my folders sync, but nothing is inside of them on Mini. Ive reconfigured Mini, changed my bookmarks, deleted the special green Opera Mini bookark for Link, … still not working correct. It was neat that Haavard provided the link on how to zoom… still not happy with either as I noted above.Originally posted by kamalesh:

    To @digitallinksmudge's point, I think you're mostly right, Haavard, but one example is iPhone's select-cut/copy/paste. It IS a really superior design…though I love having "search" on selected text & open-in-new-tab with OM5 (but, again, if the select-text operation is fumbling, then it's less useful — or no way to see the URL of a link).

    Thanks, I really like Opera and just want the best from/for them.Mini's great, as evident by the records its making and breaking.Originally posted by kamalesh:

    Also, the "either/or" meme is annoying, OM5 is complement to mSafari since it's a proxy browser, as you said, even though I still use Opera 99% of the time now.

    I use it lots too. But if I have 2 or more pages open, and close Mini all my pages are gone when I open Mini back up… therefore Mini is useless for multi tab/page usage. Safari keeps them, so I cant effectively use Mini all the time, only for quick reference.I also have not found a way to use Google Chat (called talk) in my gmail on Mini. Its not even an option in gmail while in Mini.Originally posted by kamalesh:

    Looking fwd to interesting updates soon.

    Yes indeed. The update from yesterday brought some start up speed, but it still hangs for a few seconds. All the serverside compression is negated with the hang up because by the time Mini is ready for input, Safari mobile is already working.I too look forward to interesting updates soon.Cheers!

  11. Thanks for your reply Haavard, I always enjoy your blog and the new info you provide us Opera lovers!Originally posted by haavard:

    I don't think we are in agreement. You are saying that users have a strong attachment to Safari, while I pointed out that this is limited to a certain group of people. People without a strong attachment to the Apple brand and design seem to like Opera Mini.

    Hmmm… I do agree with your thoughts and statement above in Comment #16: Originally posted by haavard:

    It looks to me like long-time Apple fans don't like that it isn't integrated very well with the OS, whereas people who just happen to own an iPhone and don't feel a strong attachment to the Apple brand mostly like it.

    Your statement above in Comment #16 is correct in my opinion as both are true for different people. Different folks, different strokes.As someone who is not partial to Apple, but does like the iPhone, I do love Mini, but as someone who has used Safari Mobile and have been "trained" by its feature set, I value the many things that it does more simply or with more robust nature than Mini…like: copy/paste, sending link to email, linking web to Apples Map App (which is much more robust and user friendly than maps in google which Opera Mini uses),bookmark usage (way simpler, faster, more effective), etc…Originally posted by haavard:

    Opera Mini is not meant to kill Safari, but rather to complement it. Opera Mini is not a full browser, so it will naturally have certain limitations compared to browsers like Opera Mobile

    Ok, I respect Opera's vision for Mini on iPhone. I got it. I dont work for Opera or make all the wonderful magic happen that you guys are great at. Plesae forgive me, but in my humble opinion, I do think that if you do something, do it all the way until it cant be done any better. Opera's done that for years, as leaders in features, security, and much more. Opera's vision in my opinion is greatly superior to FF, Safari, Chrome,… as they seem to copy your feature left and right (When reading about all of Apples IP and their propencity to sue, sue, sue others who rip it off; I do wonder why Opera doesnt patent and keep all the copycats at bay ie. tabs, speeddial, integrated google search, custom search, etc…). As for your comment "Opera Mini is not meant to kill Safari, but rather to complement it." I can see that comment stated before Mini was allowed in Apples App store, but not after Mini's already in. I dont know how I feel about the idea that App creators just want to complement another App… I think most people focus their hard work and creative effort towards creating better Apps than whats provded.I dont understand when you say "Opera Mini is not a full browser", because I only see a few things that are limiting its success in providing us the ability to totally get rid of Safari mobile. Why create a web browser on iPhone with the goal of providing some features… why make something as good as Mini, that provides wonderful things like compression, custom search, saved pages, and not follow through and provide iPhone users a full program that does it all on the iPhone. Opera is sooo close on some features/abilities and at the same time so far ahead on others. I see that Opera wanted on iPhone, now that your in, lay it all out and give us all youve got.Anyhow, thanks again for all you do…. Haavard, and Opera Team.Cheers!

  12. Hi Haavard & Opera,The last post here was 1 year ago, the new updated Opera Mini for iPhone is out and its great! Thank you all!Pinch to zoom, scrolling, opening new tabs in background, social integration, rotate lock, and tab caching are all areas of vast improvement!I actually prefer the new Mini's touch navigation over mobile Safari, its just ultra zippy and responsive – wow. Id like to see more work done on the full screen interface, in particular options to adjust the full screen button transparency like some other iPhone browsers have (Atomic & Mercury).Custom button placement in full screen mode would be a nice feature as well, as some other iPhone browsers have (Atomic & Mercury). It also takes way too many steps to access bookmarks. There really needs to be a bookmark button next to the address bar or search box, or another quick access method.Also. How do I select a custom search to be default on Opera Mini startup through Mini's interface?PS Is new zooming & scrolling HWA?Cheers!

  13. digitalinksmudge your not the only one who likes the update 🙂 I sue Opera Mini 99% more than Safari mobileplaying around to see what It can do, besides being able to open more tabs than Safari Mobile

  14. Originally posted by Chas4:

    …I sue Opera Mini 99% more than Safari mobile

    No dont sue! :devil: Originally posted by Chas4:

    playing around to see what It can do, besides being able to open more tabs than Safari Mobile

    Indeed! Caching works well too, cant say the same for mSafari.Cheers!

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