Just the other day, I was trying to get on some videoconferencing website something or other, and it was. not. working.
Like many people who live in relatively privileged suburban-developed spaces, I expect the internet to work perfectly at any and all moments. Most of the time, this is the case. But like, for instance, when I was videoconferencing, the fact that one little service didn’t automatically work flawlessly with the browser I had chosen – That was the issue incidentally: I was using Safari but I needed to be using Chrome and oh my gosh how did you not know that because everyone uses Chrome, Safari whaaaa?! No. – was enough to cause me to huff and puff for quite some time.
My solution? Switch browsers, of course!
But not “switch browsers” as in “when optimization dictates, bounce between several key options,” oh no. I mean “switch browsers” as in punish Safari for failing me while simultaneously refusing to engage in more Google Empire building. (You know Chrome is spying on us right now, right?) So I learned about Opera.
Opera was founded in Norway in 1995. They make browsers for computers, as well as mobile apps for Android, Opera Mini (Android and iOS), Opera Touch and Opera News. Earlier this week, the company brought Opera Touch to iOS, giving iPhone owners a new alternative to basic, default Safari… and also Google Chrome.
Now, I was on my laptop when my videoconferencing mini-catastrophe occurred, but this whole phone browsing option thing — also interesting.
Opera Project Manager Maciej Kocemba wrote, “Did you know that 95 percent of iOS users in the U.S. stick to the system’s default browser, Safari? We [at Opera] believe that the only thing Safari is currently really best at is at being the default browser. That’s why it’s high time to challenge it with something better, Opera Touch.”
Ouch. Don’t accuse me of default laziness, buddy! Except maybe he has a point.
Kocemba continued, describing Opera Touch as a browser that “combines high-end technology with impactful aesthetics to address the needs of iPhone users who want something more than their default browser.”
I mean, app possibilities aside, I need that videoconferencing to work bro, so you got me…
Ever reliable, TechCrunch wrote about Opera Touch. They said: “Browser company Opera is back doing what it does best, offering you beautifully-designed alternatives to the stock browsers from the likes of Google and Apple.”
TechCrunch continued, explaining that the app was first launched for Android in April, and it “reinvents a lot of the established paradigms to work well on mobile, particularly on large screens that don’t have a home button, which is steadily becoming every premium device on the market today.”
According to TechCrunch, Opera Touch for iOS — which you can download here — will be especially interesting to owners of iPhone models X, XS, XS Max and XR since the browser itself is optimized for one-handed use. The app also includes Opera’s “Flow” technology which lets a user pass links, images and notes from their phone to an Opera browser on their computer using a “secure and private” connection.
Note: Alarm bell ringing regarding anything being described as “secure and private,” but that’s just par for the course in this world we live and work in.
The browser comes with built in ad blocking and the company’s standard protection from “cryptojacking” — the process of being hacked and having your CPU used to mine crypto for someone else.
In sum, I say give Opera Touch and Opera in general a try. It’s worth testing out if you have a new home-buttonless device and want/need an alternative to my fav pre-loaded Safari and/or Chrome. Or, if you just want to get on a stupid conference call without having a temper tantrum.
Erika Chan is a sex positive people watcher (and writer). Email her at email@example.com.
Images via Opera.