Maybe you’ve never heard of Opera, but it’s an under-the-radar web browser that has gained a small but noticeable following on the Internet. The Opera browser is also pre-installed onto the Nintendo Wii and some mobile devices such as the Cherry Mobile Flare. The only difference (until recently) that Opera had from Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox is that it used a different rendering engine, Presto, while Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox used WebKit. Opera has joined its competitors in using WebKit as well, namely because WebKit has become a standard amongst developers.
Although most of its other products, such as Opera Desktop, Opera Mini, Opera Wii Browser and their TV Web Browser, will still be using the Presto rendering engine for the moment, its new offering, Opera Ice, will be launched using WebKit. “Opera Mini is great, but it is not a fully-fledged offering like Chrome or Safari. There are too many sites it doesn’t work with,” said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen. “We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android. These are the two leading platforms we will focus on. They are the ones phones are being sold for.”
Opera Ice will take the same approach that Microsoft has been doing with their desktop and mobile apps since the launch of Windows 8: no buttons or menus, and a focus on content. Although it will only be available for mobile phones at first, there will be a possibility that it will also be available for the desktop as well. Opera Ice is scheduled to be released next month and will be available for download on any iOS or Android device.