Opera Mini 6 for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad was released yesterday. The Opera is the most popular mobile browser in the world, with a leading 21.9% share of the mobile market last month, according to research firm StatCounter.
Phillip Gronvold, a product manager at Opera, said, “Every platform is important to us, but the iPhone is hugely important to Opera, especially in the U.S.,” he said. “But Safari is rock solid, iOS is rock solid and we have no problem saying that. And so, from Opera Mini 5 to Opera Mini 6, we’ve made a big shift in what we’re trying to do.”
“We’re not trying to get people to choose Opera Mini over Safari, we want people to use it in addition to Safari, as a complimentary browser.”
The Opera Mini 6 brings users a clean and elegant interface with only five buttons to choose from, along with the address bar and search box. The main Opera menu in the upper left reveals most of Opera Mini’s features, giving you access to Bookmarks, your browsing history, the Start Page (or Speed Dial), previously saved sites, browser settings, word search, sharing options, and a useful help section. While Opera Mini doesn’t have browser tabs in the traditional sense, touching the tabs indicator (next to the address bar) brings up your open pages, visually making it easy to switch between Web sites.
Opera’s Speed Dial for quick access to your favorite sites can bring users much convenience. You can simply touch the Opera menu button in the upper left, then touch Start Page to get Speed Dial’s 3×3 layout of sites. The nine quick-browsing options are usually enough for a standard Web surfing session on a mobile device. If you need more, you can easily use Opera Mini’s Bookmark features.
Besides of listing all sites previously visited, Opera Mini also offers a second way for you to view previous browsing sessions. When you find an interesting page but want to read it later, you just need to hit the Saved Pages button under the Opera menu, and then hit the plus sign to add it to your list. Now you can go directly there without wasting time searching or browsing to it.
For you to share sites and stories to other users, Opera Mini 6 offers the Share button under the Opera Menu. You can post a link to Twitter, Facebook, or the My Opera community.
The Google search is the default search term. Also it provides you with other search terms like Amazon, eBay, and Wikipedia exclusively. A button at the bottom of the resulting drop-down lets you manage and edit your search engines.
Overall, the Opera Mini 6 brings iPad/iPhone users a great web surfing experience, and it might even become the first choice for iOS Web surfers–even over Apple’s Safari.