Opera Browser for iOS Brings Speed and Security

Nothing but the basics to get things done

Key Takeaways

  • Opera has launched a new version of its browser for iOS that has a stripped-down interface and enhanced security.
  • Opera seemed to render pages faster than both Chrome and Safari.
  • If you’re not sold on Opera as a browser, there are plenty of other options for iOS.
iPhone using the Opera browser to view Lifewire.com
Sascha Brodsky / Lifewire

The newly revamped Opera browser for iOS makes me realize how bloated and clumsy the big-name browsers have become. 

I switch between Chrome and Safari, and while these two browsers, both in their mobile and PC versions, can render almost any site well, they also come with too many features that bog them down and can be distracting. Opera is among the many alternative browsers that let you do more with less.

Doing More With Less

Opera has rebranded the Opera Touch iOS browser as just Opera, and the stripped-down name fits the latest version’s minimalist design. The browser also offers privacy, speed, and a one-handed experience.

If all you want to do is jump online and get some browsing done, I wholeheartedly recommend Opera. In my time testing the browser, it seemed to render pages faster than both Chrome and Safari. Even better, Opera offers a calmer browsing experience than the crowded interfaces of some other browsers. 

iPhone running the Opera browser while resting on a countertop
Sascha Brodsky / Lifewire

The most noticeable change to Opera is its new interface. New colors have been introduced, including a change in the home screen logo from purple to red. The whole browser has a cleaner and smoother design. 

Opera also has introduced a new way of syncing your browser, too. You start Opera on your computer and click the Flow icon on the sidebar. A QR code will appear, which you can scan with the Opera browser on your iOS device. Flow links your computer and your mobile device so you can share links, notes, images, files and other information. 

Pick Your Browser

If you’re not sold on Opera as a browser just yet, there are plenty of other options for iOS.

For users with a Windows 10 PC, for example, Microsoft Edge lets iPhones and PCs exchange web pages, bookmarks, Cortana settings, and more. It also boasts features such as tracking prevention and ad blocking, but its cool new feature is Collections, a place where you can put web pages in themed folders. In practice, it’s kind of like the scrapbooking app Pinterest. 

"Opera is among the many alternative browsers that lets you do more with less."

If you don’t mind paying for your browser, you might want to consider the Cake browser. There’s a free version, but the premium edition ($1.99 a month) offers high-end VPN features for privacy protection. Cake also sports an unusual gesture-based interface. You can swipe left or right when searching, and linked pages will appear in the results. 

Privacy-minded users might also want to consider Mozilla Firefox for iOS, whose developer bills it as the more secure option. Firefox has a Private Browsing Mode, which claims to prevent your online activities from being recorded, and when you close Private Browsing, the app nukes all of your actions, so it stays secure. The browser’s Enhanced Tracking Protection also blocks a wide range of trackers.

If you hate the idea of being tracked online, you might want to consider the free Ghostery browser. The whole idea behind this app is to let you browse the web anonymously. The company claims the browser doesn’t have cookies and won’t collect your data. The app also blocks ad trackers. 

Another option for privacy fiends is the venerable Duck Duck Go for iPhone. This app includes tons of tools to keep your browsing anonymous. One exciting feature is that you can tap the Fire icon on the main page when you’re done using the app, which will then close all tabs and delete the data. 

I’ve tried out all of these browsers, and Opera is my favorite for casual browsing due to its straightforward design. On the other hand, I’m not giving up Chrome or Safari, but only due to their broad compatibility with most sites.

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