So, after much waiting, Apple has approved Opera for the iPhone. This is monumental, since all applications that duplicate the functionality of native Apple applications are not allowed in the App Store. Well, except we have Bing that does maps like the built-in Google Maps. But, the Google Voice App has not been approved, most likely because it duplicates the phone/SMS applications. So, what about Opera? It’s a big step: the first non-Safari browser on iPhone. Supposedly faster. Well, I think it’s great to have the competition, and Opera on the Mac is amazing, but I’m less than impressed comparing Opera to Safari for iPhone. I think this one was a safe bet on Apple’s part, since Safari still looks better than Opera (at the moment), meaning that Safari is still safe for now. If Google Voice would have been accepted, everyone would use the free SMS/phone functionality instead of the built in versions.
So, why is Safari safe? Consider these two screenshots:
Opera text in the zoomed out mode is unreadable. To view the text, you must zoom all the way in. Even turning the phone to landscape does not improve visibility of the text. The plus? Opera lets you choose whether you want to view the mobile versions of sites or the full versions, however, the mobile version looks to be the standard cell phone variety, not smart-phone savvy layouts designed for iPhone or Android.
In conclusion, this is a great first step, and I am more than excited to have Opera running on my iPhone. However, I’m going to wait until the next revision before scrapping Safari.