Opera is set to reinvent the mobile browser as it is poised to release their new browser called Opera Ice next month for the Android and iOS platform next month. The browser was presented by product managers in a company meeting held just before Christmas.
So how does this new browser compare to the old one? As we all know, the old browser is based on the Presto engine and is able to save you on bandwidth since some web content is first processed in the company servers before being sent to your device. As mobile devices become more powerful this feature becomes less important.
This is where Opera Ice comes in. The upcoming browser which is now based on the Webkit engine will hide as much of the technology as possible, ditching all buttons and instead relying on gestures to control key elements. Tabs will now be replaced by icons on the home screen and accessing a specific site can be done by typing in the URL or through search.
A Windows 8 version of Opera Ice isn’t available yet however company CEO Lars Boilesen says it may come in the future. He further said that “We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android. These are the two leading platforms we will focus on… They are the ones phones are being sold for.”
Opera Mini, which is the old browser, will still be supported by the company even if it is not at par with the major browsers available in the market today. Boilesen added “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. Mini is super important … It needs to be a platform where we create users and then migrate those users to over to our smartphone products.”
Some of the features of Opera Ice include
- Now uses Webkit engine which is also used by Safari and Chrome
- Gesture based navigation
- Speed dial home screen
- Add sites to speed dial with gestures
- Launching a site feels like launching a native app
via pocket lint