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Apple does the unthinkable and approves Opera Mini for the iPhone, iPod touch

In what must be one of the most shocking developments in the whole Apple App Store versus the third-party app market comes news that Opera Mini has been approved by Apple for the iPhone and iPod touch. When Opera Software submitted the apps for Apple's prying eyes back in March, no one really took them seriously and thought that they were just showing off to drum up some press.

Well, Apple has shown Opera some leniency and Opera Mini will be available to U.S. iPhone and iPod touch users shortly. Here's the Opera press release in its entirety:

Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market.

Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.

"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."

The Opera Mini App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

Could the walls be crumbling in Apple's heavy-handed approach to App Store acceptance/rejection? Maybe Opera just caught Steve Jobs on a good day. Who knows, but this is at least a good step forward for Apple.

Updated 4/13/2010

It's now available in the iTunes Store.

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Opera Mini
By Dennis Travis on 4/13/2010 12:59:19 AM , Rating: 2
It's in the USA App Store right now. I just installed it and it's like that You Tube video demo. Very fast. Just a heads up. Give it a try.

RE: Opera Mini
By kmmatney on 4/13/2010 1:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
Just downloaded it - it must be very small, as it downloaded very quick through a 3G connection. It works pretty well, although I think it zooms in and out too fast - harder to control the zoom, compared to Safari. It does seem decently fast.

RE: Opera Mini
By kmmatney on 4/13/2010 1:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
It needs some work, or maybe I just don't get it. I tried to log into this site to see if I could post a message with it, but I can't figure out how to log in. The browser refreshes the page as soon as I put in my username, and before I can type in the password. I have no problem logging into DT with Safari. I was able to log onto a few other sites, but not DT.

RE: Opera Mini
By MonkeyPaw on 4/13/2010 3:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it won't let me post either. It also fails to load most mobile pages correctly. I don't care how fast it is if it can't render web pages right. Also, its zoom feature is pretty bad--you don't get many zoom options. Better get to work, Opera.

FYI, I like the Mercury browser. It's not perfect, but it has a full screen option that really makes mobile browsing better. Free to try even.

RE: Opera Mini
By Omega215D on 4/13/2010 4:18:35 AM , Rating: 2
I don't always browse the web on my phone, but when I do I prefer Opera Mini.

Stay geeky my friends.

*sorry, just had to. Besides Opera is quite good on my blackberry.

RE: Opera Mini
By Lord Zado on 4/13/2010 8:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
So I just downloaded it from the app store. It is a bit faster than Safari, which is nice. It doesn't give me the option to import my bookmarks from Safari though. That's pretty annoying!

They offer Opera Link which I guess syncs your mobile bookmarks with your Opera bookmarks on another PC, but I don't use Opera at home. I guess I could download it at home, import bookmarks, then link them to my phone, but that's a really roundabout way of having to do it.

RE: Opera Mini
By daveinternets on 4/13/2010 10:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
I did. The zooming with multi-touch is pretty bad. It zooms into 'sections' of web pages too well in fact. You can't really control the level of zoom. I'm still only 31 and my eyes aren't that bad so I don't need to zoom in that much.

Hard to read the WoW forums with it, so, that pretty much makes it DOA for me! :P

Keeping it on my phone for now, hopefully they will improve the zooming.

RE: Opera Mini
By Sazar on 4/13/2010 1:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
Through settings you can adjust pretty much whatever you want.

I am hoping for multi-touch support to be better in future iterations but, this things is just plain FAST and has awesome tabbed browsing :D

Plus, the return of the speed-dial to browsing.

Safari is no longer on my little launch-pad, but I still use it because some sites recognize and format differently for it than they do for Opera.

Not a complete home-run but, I think a lot of people will appreciate the pure speed-boost with Opera vice Safari.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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