As we mentioned last week, we got to see a preview of Opera’s Mini 5 browser running on the iPhone. Opera was showing off the app at its booth at the South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. But the Opera folks wouldn’t let us photograph it or shoot video of it, and they couldn’t provide us with anything other than a pre-approved screenshot. But now Opera has released a video of the tiny browser in action, embedded above.
Opera Mini 5 has been submitted to the Apple App Store and is currently awaiting approval.
The browser looks fast — certainly much faster than Safari on the iPhone. The big difference is Opera’s server-side compression technology it uses for Mini, which squishes pages and images down to about 10-20% of their original size before they are sent over the tubes. As a result, some multi-touch functionality (like “the pinch”) is disabled, but the browser is fast.
Also pay attention to the tab switcher, and the tap-to-zoom function, both of which are well-executed.