In only one day, Opera Mini for the iPhone has passed a million downloads, making it the current #1 free app on Apple’s app store. Opera Mini joins a select few other browsers for the iPhone, as an alternative to Apple’s Safari mobile browser.
Being number one in the Apple Apps store around the world (apparently except in Australia) means that Opera Mini is also the second most popular web browser on the roughly 75M iPhone and iPod Touch devices, at least in terms of total downloads. When other mobile devices are factored in, Opera is the most popular.
So now that iPhone/ iPod Touch users have more mobile browser options, which one is the best? Lifehacker did a speed test on Safari Mobile and Opera Mini and found that the latter is much faster, at least from a “cold start” as they’ve described. Opera Mini also has a number of features that Safari Mobile does not, including tabbed browsing, keyword search on a page, visual “speed dial” bookmarking to visit favorite pages with one-click, optional password caching, and synchronization of bookmarks from your desktop Opera browser.
If Opera Mini has any disadvantages, it’s primarily due to Safari’s advantages as the system default, as Lifehacker points out. Unfortunately, you cannot make Opera Mini the default for iPhone apps that need to launch a browser. However, you can replace Safari with Opera on the iPhone dock at the bottom.
Have you used Opera Mini for iPhone/ iPod Touch? What are your feelings on it?