We reported last month that Opera is going to make a shift towards the open source WebKet engine for its browsers. Today we have official confirmation that the company is indeed going to make the shift, not only that the Opera Ice browser is also in the making. WebKit engine powers many internet browsers in today’s market, from Apple’s Safari to Android’s stock browser, all run on this engine.
Opera Mini however runs on the Presto engine, which may hinder usability but is very fast especially on low end machines. I myself have been using the amazing browser since 2006, and it has never let me down. The Opera Mini was an amazing companion for my Sony Ericson W800 and after that on my Nokia C5-03.The Presto engine was really data efficient, when it came to browsing and reading websites, Opera Mini was hands down the most efficient browser there was. Although it has its perks there were some rather annoying quirks too, like playing browser games and watching videos is a painful experience.
The Opera Ice will be a step forward for Opera, the browser is said to have large user friendly icons and gesture mechanics built in. The browser was said to launch this very month but it looks like it won’t even make to the Mobile World Congress. With almost over 300 million users a month, Opera has already lock a hefty amount of fans who will be willing to try out the latest from the company. I for one will be looking to check out the WebKit based browser come day one. The CTO of the company said that Opera is better off working along the open source communities to try and improve the open source engines collectively, rather than use resources in making the Presto better.
“The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need. It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout.”-Håkon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software.
It will be interesting to see what Opera has in store for us.