Opera reinvents the mobile browser with gesture-based Ice browser, coming in February
Opera’s web browsers for mobile devices have made a name for itself by offering a few nifty features including the ability to save resources bandwidth by rendering some web content on remove servers before sending it to your device. But as phones get more powerful, that sort of feature isn’t as important as it once was.
Now members of the Opera team are hoping to take a different approach to the browser space with a new browser called Opera Ice. The first version due out for iOS and Android in February.
Pocket Lint has details about the new browser, and a demo video from the lead developer of the project.
Here are some of the highlights:
- It uses WebKit instead of Opera’s Presto rendering engine (which means any web site you can open in Safari or Chrome will also open properly in Opera Ice).
- Opera Ice uses gesture-based navigation instead of buttons. There are virtually no buttons or menus.
- The browser still has the “speed dial” home screen with shortcuts to your favorite website.
- You can add sites to your speed dial screen with drag-and-drop gestures.
- Launching a web site or web app from that home screen feels almost like launching a native app — Opera Ice sort of works like an OS within an OS.
- You can still navigate to other sites by using a search/URL bar on the home screen.
Opera isn’t dropping the Opera Mini web browser. But starting in February you’ll be able to choose between Opera Mini and Opera Ice (and all the other iOS and Android browsers available for download).