Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Huh? Apple Allows Opera into the App Store

With all my recent rants concerning Apple, and how they are locking in developers and users into programs and services that many people do not necessarily want to use, I figured that this important piece of news deserves a post just for itself. I usually do not blog about recent news items, specifically because it would be useless to simply repeat content that shows up on TechCrunch, but this time is a little different. Opera Mini, a browser that is not Safari, has been allowed into the App Store. I am simply flabbergasted. At first glance, it seems like nothing, but this ultimately means that Apple has actually let a company other than itself add its product to the Apple monopoly over iPhone software.

The new browser app, which, again, is not Safari, will be available within the next twenty-four hours, and I am sure that many users will immediately pick up the app to at least try it. Opera is far behind Firefox and Internet Explorer in terms of market share, and in my own opinion, Opera has many flaws that I am not particularly happy with, but when compared with Safari, there is no competition. Why Apple has allowed competition to its own browser is interesting. They do not stand to profit from the deal, and now "intermediate layers", so to say, are controlling their platform. How can Apple expect to force its reign over Flash in favor of HTML5 if Apple does not have full control over all the browsers? Well, we will have to wait and see what happens.

I recommend that everybody go and try out Opera on your nearest iPhone once it becomes officially available in the App Store, because it will definitely give you an advantage over Safari; Opera has better compression algorithms than Safari, allowing web pages to be loaded with smaller downloads. If anybody might have any more information as to Apple's motivations, post it below (or on Buzz).

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