It came as a surprise to almost everyone when Apple approved the Opera Mini Browser app for its App Store. It is a competing browser for Apple's own Safari -- which is the default browser of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad -- and it is not built on the Apple-ordained Webkit platform.
The main claim to fame for the Opera Mini Browser for iPhone is speed. It loads pages fast -- or so the story goes. However, the "how" behind that speed comes with some security concerns that users should be aware of as well.
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Basically, the Opera Mini Browser app is able to display Web pages quicker because the data is compressed. That means that business professionals on the go can surf the Web faster while consuming less data bandwidth -- seems like a no-brainer.
The data compression is done entirely in Norway on Opera's servers, though. Each Web page request goes through Opera where it is recompiled in Opera's proprietary markup language, then forwarded to the destination iPhone.
In fact, this server-side compression is responsible for the increased speed and is probably the reason that the Opera Mini Browser app was approved by Apple. By rendering the page on Opera's servers rather than on the iPhone itself, Opera circumvents some of Apple's coding restrictions for what can occur on the iPhone.