Apple has allowed the Opera Mini browser on the Jesus Phone, according to a shock announcement from Opera.
With a press release that hit the web very early Norway time on Tuesday, Opera said that its low-bandwidth mobile browser had been approved for the iPhone and iPod touch and that it would be available in the Apple App Store within 24 hours, at least in some markets.
Opera demoed the browser at multiple mobile trade shows earlier this year, and it has always said that it expected approval from Apple. But the smart money was on Jobsian rejection.
Currently, the App Store only offers third-party browsers that use the same WebKit rendering engine as Apple's own Safari browser, and the iPhone SDK forbids applications from interpreting their own code. But because Opera Mini leans on proxy servers for code execution, Opera argued that it does not break the rules of the SDK.
It doesn't. And it would seem that Apple's gatekeepers have actually acknowledged this, making it the first iPhone browser not to use Apple's WebKit rendering engine.
Like existing incarnations of Opera Mini - which were Java-based - the iPhone version taps into proxy servers that intercept and compress webpages before sending them down to the client. This speeds download times - making the browser suitable for slower web connections - but it also means that Mini doesn't interpret code.
"The proxy servers take down web content and transcode it into a compressed and static content format," says chief development officer Christen Krogh has told us. "There is no code execution or any scripting language running on the client." ®