We usually enjoy Opera. It’s a great browser that’s easy to use. We like Opera on our iPhone, because it feels much faster than Safari. This is especially the case when we disable images. Using the browser in this mode over a 3G connection, and especially on an older iPhone, is great. We were excited to learn that the Opera Mini browser had finally been released for iPad. Then…disappointment hit. But why?
The browser has one of our favorite features. It’s the ability to turn off images. This is especially useful for browsing when all you want to do is read. It speeds up page loads significantly faster. This is great if you are connected over 3G, it also eats up less data. anyone who has an iPad 3G knows about keeping an eye on that data cap.
With images on, even when set to low or medium quality, sites didn’t seem to load any faster than Safari. That’s right, if you want fast loads, you must turn images off completely. The other major annoyance we came across was that this App loads mobile sites. That means if you visit Engadget or a Gawker site like Gizmodo, you will be redirected to the same mobile site that your iPhone will take you do. We checked our settings, and played with the “Mobile View” option. We turned it off, back on, off again, relaunched the browser, played with the settings again and nothing. The mobile site kept loading. Huge disappointment. That’s the dealbreaker that sends us back to Mobile Safari.
We only suggest this if you have an iPad 3G and plan on using the browser on the road. In that case, we say turn off ‘Load Images’ under your Opera Mini settings. Pages will load much faster than in Safari and it will cost you less data. Other than that? Skip. Oh, may as well pick it up for iPhone if you haven’t done so. That version is nice.