Will Opera’s New iPhone Browser be Cool as ‘Ice’?

For most users, the built-in iPhone web browser–Safari–is more than sufficient for one’s needs. There are, however, several other choices. One of those choices is Opera. Fans of the browser will likely be elated to learn that a new version is in the development phase.

The new version is due for release next month, and has been dubbed “Opera Ice.” It will not replace the Opera mini browser, but it will be an additional option for those who like the cut of Opera’s electronic jib.

The Pocket-lint website reported that Opera Ice “will be based around hiding the technology as much as possible.” The site also reported that buttons will become a thing of the past, to be replaced by gestures to guide a user forwards or backwards.

Also gone are tabs, replaced by icons. To point the browser to a specific website, one will need to manually type the URL in, or a website can be reached via search results. To bookmark a page, a user would tap the screen and place an icon on the home screen.

Of course, dangerous and malicious websites are a concern, and Opera Ice meets the need for protection from these sorts of websites by warning the user before allowing access to the infected site.

So why Opera Ice, and why now? Pocket-lint quoted Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera, who is cited as saying, “Opera mini is great, but it is not a fully-fledged offering like Chrome or Safari. There are too many sites it doesn’t work with.”

Another exciting development surrounding this new version of Opera is the fact that it will use the WebKit platform, not Presto. This is relevant because Webkit just so happens to also be the driving force that powers the Safari browser.

As competition heats up in the browser wars, it will be interesting to see if users stick with the tried-and-true Safari browser on their iPhones, or if they jump over to Opera Ice.

[via: Pocket-lint]