And Apple does it again – Opera Mini iPhone App Approved

Apple just approved the Opera Mini iPhone app, which should be available on iTunes during the next 24 hours. This is excellent news specially taking into account the recent events. In you’ve missed the demo go check it now.

Edit: Some users pointed it out to me something I couldn’t believe but it’s true. The Opera Mini doesn’t include a Javascript engine, all the pages and events are processed by Opera’s servers. While I’ve seen projects like Chrome being batched for privacy issues for simply sending all your urls back to Google, I wonder what will happen on this area with Opera Mini, after all, not only the urls are sent to Opera but all the contents, cookies and submitted data are too. Anyhow, the blocks of text below, up to the end, are now invalid due to this revelation.

On the very same week Apple manages to change the rules, making them stricter, and yet they also manage to break them, or… choose not to enforce them. Don’t get me wrong, I will probably love Opera Mini, I just don’t agree with the different set of rules based on something as random as the weather.

The problem is that the changes, covered in my previous blog post, didn’t change one detail that was already in the rules for a long time, this specific detail is:

Applications may only use (…) or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine (…)

This is the reason for the need/existence of projects like MonoTouch, Flash CS5 iPhone export and some others. They all try to work around the fact that the only scripted language that Apple allows to run on the iPhone is Javascript and only if using the native browser APIs.

However, Opera Mini is a full browser on its own and their own implementation of a JS interpreter, making one wonder what exactly is Apple playing at?

Here’s my request Apple, pick a side, pick a rule, stick with it. Meanwhile, I’ll grab my copy before Stevie decides to pull it.

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4 Responses to “And Apple does it again – Opera Mini iPhone App Approved”

  1. Cyril Gupta says:

    The rules are this:

    1. Maximise Profit
    2. Stifle competition
    3. Do anything that gets us money.

    Don’t make any mistakes, the so-called ‘rules’ that we’re all talking about have only one aim, to prevent anyone from taking away hype and market share from Apple.

    Apple has truly become the new Microsoft.

  2. Logan says:

    Opera Mini is not a full web browser. It does not execute any client-side javascript. It sends the web pages to an Opera server, which processes the javascript and renders the page on the server, then the rendered page is sent back to the mobile device in a special compressed format. So it doesn’t violate that particular clause. It’s more like a custom web proxy.
    I’m not a big fan of what Apple is doing right now, but in this case, they are not violating their own rules.

  3. Davis John says:

    I wonder if Opera Mini indeed has a built-in JS engine. On my not-so-smart phone, JavaScript events in the Mini go back as requests to Opera servers and return the updated page. Maybe that has affected the decision?

  4. Raphael Javaux says:

    Like Logan says, Opera Mini doesn’t contains any engine ou interpretter, all run on servers.
    There is no conflict here, except for the fact that Opera make more or less a feature clone of another Apple’s product (which is forbidden by Apple’s rules).

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