Even if Opera already boasts a mobile browser version, the Norwegian team behind it is working on a new variant optimized for iOS and Android. The company, which named its latest project “Ice”, is attempting to better infiltrate the increasingly popular tablet market with this new project.
Opera Ice will be fine-tuned to work on the touch screen, but the most significant change is that the browser will drop the Presto search engine partnership in favor of WebKit. The president of the company, Lars Boilesen, stated that the main focus of Opera Ice is to compete with the official Apple and Google browsers. He also acknowledged that Opera Mini doesn’t offer the same browsing quality experience as do Safari or Google Chrome but he hopes that Ice will change that.
A video has been released which showcases the company’s product manager presenting the features of Ice. He commented about the browser:
“Most (browsers) are taking a PC browser and squishing [it] into a tablet, or they are taking a mobile browser and blowing it up to fill the space. We need to go into a new phase, we need to lift our games on certain areas to ensure we continue to grow. We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android.“
The new browsers will be available in the App Store and Google Play Store starting this February. Theoretically, Ice will be compatible with smartphones as well, so it might end up convincing us to renounce the services of Safari or Google Chrome. Who knows?