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Opera's New Launch: Ice Browser For Smartphones and Tablets

|January 26 2013 |Tablets, Smart Phones, Mobile Browsers


Opera Software has rolled in a new browser for smartphones and tablets users. Opera itself by Opera Software is a popular browser, and now it's all set to launch Opera Ice, possibly in February.

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So, why another browser, and what's different? It's perhaps a move by the Company to increase its consumer base, by taking up more space in the market.  So the approach has undergone change, by changing to the WebKit rendering engine which are being used by Google Chrome and Apple Safari and is doing away with Presto which the Company used for ten years now starting in 2003.

A video was posted by Pocket-lint, Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said that Opera has decided to let go of all the familiar old style tabs and buttons in place of a kind of multi-touch gesture control system. The homepage is littered with smaller icons or apps.  Using these apps you can open pages directly like Boilesen demonstrated with the Google Maps app. The URL bar and search functions are merged into one so your browsing function is easier.

You can also bookmark your apps which add an icon on the homepage for click of the button access. The new browser has a nice animated warning signal for when it detects a dangerous site that you are about to enter into. "This is a full touch and tablet-focused browser," said Boilesen in the video explaining Opera Ice’s interface. "Most are taking a PC browser and squishing [it] into a tablet, or they are taking a mobile browser and blowing it up to fill the space."

So again, what happens to the present browser? When asked Boilesen said that while Opera Mini was ‘great’, it has run outdated against competitors like Chrome and Safari’s and failed to match those standards. This true as Opera Mini couldn't handle much load and it also didn't run quite a few sites. So the move to start over seems better than to recreate the present browser, this could have a certain bearing on the psyche of the people and is therefore a smart move. This new browser is specially created for smartphones and tablets and has a great UI.

Boilesen confirmed that the company however will not throw Opera Mini out the door. "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,” he said. Boilesen further stated a desktop Opera browser is due to be available from March on. Opera Ice on the other hand may be ready for use by February for iOS and Android. Windows Mobile too will eventually support this new browser, but the Company is not pushing for that right now.

Windows Mobile has had its own share of issues with browsers like with Google blocking Maps on Windows Phone 8. Of course, Microsoft defended itself saying, “Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use the same rendering engine.”


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