Browsing the internet on your iPhone could just get faster. Norwegian web browser developer Opera has announced that the company has submitted its Opera Mini iPhone application for approval to the Apple App Store.
If approved, this could be the first real alternate to the native Mobile Safari app on the iPhone.
We had written about the Opera Mini iPhone app last month when the company had offered a preview of the upcoming application at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Back then, we had noted that Opera's server-side processing of web pages coupled with binary file caching helped in compressing the web pages by as much as 90%, thus helping in faster download times.
Though the application has been built on top of Apple's Webkit in much the same way as the native Mobile Safari app, it however does not support common gestures like pinch-to-zoom. Instead users will have to double tap on the page to zoom the content. Opera Software has insisted that this feature shall be offered via a future update.
Users looking forward to using the popular Opera Mini browser on their iPhone will however have to keep their fingers crossed. It is being speculated that Apple may choose to reject the app since it competes directly with the native Mobile Safari browser on the iPhone. Opera has however indicated optimism over the approval.
This is not the first time Opera is known to have developed an app for the iPhone. The company had revealed back in 2008 that a Java based application for the iPhone was in the works. However, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, the CEO at Opera Software had later clarified that it was an "internal project", which was terminated soon after it came to be known that the application did not adhere to Apple's prohibitive license that mandated the use of the native SDK.
With the latest submission adhering to Apple's license agreement, we hope Apple approves the Opera Mini app for iPhone. Meanwhile, check out a video of the app in action:
If the public pressure on Apple to approve Opera's Mini iPhone app wasn't enough, Opera has a count-up counter on its community site to see how much time it takes Apple to approve their iPhone app:
Do you think Apple will approve Opera's iPhone app?
[via The NY Times]