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The Fat Lady Sings - Opera Mini for iPhone Approved! But, Should You Care?

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 13th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Opera Mini is a web browser for the iPhone. A web browser? Why would you want that, you already have Safari, right? Good question...

Opera Mini seems to be an application that was built just because they could do it. It's really only useful for a small number of people -- those that only have access to really bad Edge data. And it needs to be really bad to make Opera Mini useful. The goal of Opera Mini is to speed up the rendering of web pages by doing all of the hard work on the server and then sending down low bandwidth images to the client on your iPhone. And, in theory it works, but in practice, not so much.

In my tests over the last few hours I had a hard time finding a web site that rendered correctly. Most were missing large chunks or just didn't function at all. One of the main features is that all javascript, the code that lets web pages do interactive things, is executed on the server. But the result is that this pretty much breaks any web page that has any javascript.

The plus is that Opera Mini is free to download, and does have some interesting features. The 3x3 grid of quick launch web sites called Speed Dial is great. The zooming and scrolling is wickedly fast. But overall, if a page doesn't render properly, how useful is it?

Instapaper Pro

By Bonnie Eisenman on March 17th, 2010
Are you literate? Do you read long things online? If so, Instapaper Pro is a must-have. It allows you to download long articles and blog posts for on-the-go reading. Finesse, functionality, and overall awesomeness make it a true 5-star app.
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Apple Enables iTunes Track Previews In-Browser

Posted by Arron Hirst on January 7th, 2010

You may remember a few months back now that Apple unveiled a new system in which it used a web-based interface to show song information for an individual iTunes URL, before you were physically transferred to the actual iTunes store itself. The move came in sync with the iTunes store re-design which saw the store become more streamlined overall, with a cleaner, crisper interface. Until now, these new web-based 'Preview' pages have lay dormant, offering no real purpose other than to provide necessary links to albums and individual tracks on the iTunes store.

Today, Apple has reportedly enabled studio 30 second previews of all tracks in it's current iTunes catalog to work in-browser. Mac Rumors are reporting via GigaOM that these previews are encoded in 44.1 KHz AAC format at 300+ kbps, and playback is issued via QuickTime.

The move falls in line with Apple's recent acquisition of the online music streaming service Lala, which could see Apple move it's entire current catalog online, possibly offering all-you-can-eat subscription based plans in the future.


iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on August 13th, 2009
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: SKIP IT
myDesktop is an excellent idea, and it has potential. But this multi-window browser just has too many rough edges to be useful, featuring bookmark bugs and lag-tastic speeds.
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