Opera Reveals "Ice" Mobile Browser for Android and iOS Platforms
Opera Software recently unveiled its latest project, a WebKit-based mobile browser called “Opera Ice” that is specifically designed for screen formats that are seen on popular smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone and iPad. Opera gave a brief look at a beta of the new app in an internal video released just yesterday. The video features an icon-based interface much like the optional homescreens seen on desktop versions of Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome browsers. The internal video
can be seen below:
According to the developers, the app was designed to hide the usual clutter seen with modern web browsers, including the URL bar, which takes up limited screen real estate on mobile devices. The so-called “full touch browser” does away with buttons and menus to create a Spartan user interface driven by screen taps and gestures. Instead of the Presto rendering engine that Opera has been using for years, Ice is based on WebKit, which is the same engine that both Apple and Google currently use. The move is meant to keep Opera in the fast-changing mobile market.
Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said “we need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android.” As for the company’s current mobile solution, Opera mini, Boilesen said that it won’t be replaced by Ice. Instead the platform will be leveraged to generate users that will eventually migrate to the new mobile apps. Opera Ice is expected to debut sometime in February while the company also continues to work on a new unannounced desktop browser, slated to release in March.