The new mobile browser was designed to be touch input and gestures and ditching buttons to control elements like forwards and backwards. It also introduces several innovations on the interface and user experience front, but perhaps the biggest change is to the layout engine according to Softpedia.
Opera has decided to dropped its Presto home-built layout engine platform and embraced the popular WebKit that is being used by new browsers such Apple Safari and Google Chrome.
Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera said that the Opera Ice mobile browser will be based around hiding the technology as much as possible and embracing rich applications. “This is a full touch and tablet-focused browser,” said the product manager. 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,” in a report by Pocket Lint.
The beta version of the Opera Ice shows that tabs are gone and instead replace with icons on the homepage while accessing a new pages will be through search or type the url manually. Bookmarking pages also can be done by tapping a part of the screen and then place an icon for that page on the opening screen.
Opera will target smartphones as the critical for the future of the company according to Boilesen and they will release the browser in February for iOS and Android users.
However, Opera Ice will not kill the popular web browser Opera Mini since it is also is super important … It needs to be a platform where we create users and then migrate those users to over to our smartphone products, Boilesen added.”
A desktop version of the Opera Ice browser will also be launched in March.