Opera, the company behind the Opera mini web browser for iPhone and iPad is now working on a new browser which it is calling “Ice”. The new browser will use WebKit and was shown off at an internal meeting just before Christmas. The guys from Pocket-lint managed to get a copy of a video from the meeting and some interesting information on this new browser.
In a video shown to us of an internal "all-hands" meeting held before Christmas, Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera, outlined the company's strategy for 2013. Afterwards, product managers took to the stage to demo the new browser, which will be run on the WebKit, not Presto, platform.
The new Opera Ice browser will be based around hiding the technology as much as possible and embracing rich applications. It will ditch all buttons and instead use gestures to control key elements like forwards and backwards. "This is a full touch and tablet-focused browser," said the product manager in the video we've seen. "Most 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."
The new offering from Opera will not replace its existing Opera mini mobile browser. The company sees that as still having an important role to fill in bringing new customers to its browser platform and then hopefully moving up to the new “Ice” system.
The browser does look like a good option however for any alternative browser to be a permanent replacement for mobile Safari it needs to be able to be set as the default browser. Until Apple gives us that option it is always going to be hard to use it full time. Take a look at the Opera “Ice” browser in action in the video below and let us know what you think! It should be formally announced at Mobile World Congress in February.