How to Use Opera Mini for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Learn how to use this speedy, no-fuss iOS browser

Opera Mini for iOS includes many features common on other mobile browsers, and some mimic the desktop experience. Opera Mini shines in its focus on slow networks and limited data plans. Its multiple compression modes speed up load times, minimize data usage, and make it easy to control how fast web pages render.

Opera Mini for Android

Opera Mini for iOS: Overview

In its most restrictive compression mode, the browser can save browsing data usage by up to 90 percent. Accompanying these thrifty techniques is a video compression feature, which works as a video clip renders on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. This compression reduces buffering, other playback hiccups, and data usage.

Another practical element of Opera Mini is Night Mode, which dims the device screen and is ideal for surfing the web in the dark. Opera Mini also adds to the iOS browsing experience through features like Discover, Speed Dial, and private tabs.

If you haven't installed it, Opera Mini is available free of charge from the App Store. When you're ready to start, launch the browser by selecting it from the device's Home screen.

Data Savings

By default, Opera Mini is configured to conserve data. To see the amount of data that you've saved, select the Opera menu button, represented by the red O icon at the bottom of the browser window. Opera Mini's pop-up menu appears and displays these stats:

  • Percentage of data saved.
  • Which data-savings mode is enabled (the default is Opera Mini).
  • Actual data saved, represented in KB, MB, or GB.

Change Data Savings Mode

Three modes can be enabled, and each is different in terms of data compression, speed, and data usage. To switch to a different data-savings mode, select Savings Enabled. The data savings modes include:

  • Opera Mini: The default selection. Opera Mini mode compresses images, text, and web pages to deliver the requested content quickly, even on slow networks. Many sites may not look or feel the same as they would under ideal conditions. Still, at the high end of the data usage spectrum, you can save up to 90 percent with this mode enabled.
  • Opera Turbo: Not as powerful as Opera Mini in terms of compression. This mode condenses images and text. The algorithm is based on the distance from the nearest signal tower and the current load on the network. Opera Turbo mode doesn't modify web pages, resulting in data savings up to 50 percent without noticeable alterations to the browsing experience.
  • Off: When active, all data compression and savings-related features are disabled. This mode is recommended if you have an unlimited data plan and a consistently fast network connection.

If you want to reset the accumulated data savings metrics, select Reset Data Savings Statistics.

Advanced Settings

The available advanced settings vary based on which data-savings mode is currently active. These modes are:

  • Zoom Level (available in Opera Mini mode): The browser automatically enlarges the display of all pages up to 200 percent, per a user-defined scale.
  • Layout (available in Opera Mini mode): Contains two options, both accompanied by an on/off button and disabled by default. The first, Single Column View, renders web pages to fit the width of the device screen, avoiding the need for horizontal scrolling. The second, Text Wrap, ensures that most website text displays in a way that fits the screen.
  • Image Quality (available in Opera Mini and Opera Turbo mode): Use this setting to disable images from loading in the browser and to set the image quality to Low, Medium, or High (default setting).
  • Video Boost (available in Opera Turbo mode): Enabled by default. This setting causes Opera to compress video clips on their servers prior to sending the video to your device. Degradation of quality is sometimes noticeable. Still, on slower networks, Video Boost does a nice job of reducing buffering and other playback problems.

Synchronization, General, and Advanced Settings

The Opera Mini Settings interface allows you to change the browser's behavior in several ways. To access the Settings page, select the Opera Mini menu button, represented by the red O icon at the bottom of the browser window. When the pop-up menu appears, select Settings.

Synchronization

If you use Opera on other devices, including a Mac or PC, this feature synchronizes your Bookmarks across each instance of the browser, ensuring that your favorite websites are only a tap away.

For Bookmarks syncing to work, sign in with your Opera Sync account. If you don't have an account, select Create Account.

General Settings

The Opera Mini General settings include the following:

  • Night Mode: Disabled by default. Night Mode is perfect for browsing the web in a dark environment and minimizing eye strain. Toggle this setting with the on/off button found in the main Opera menu.
  • Change Theme: With over a dozen designs to choose from, which change the look and feel of the browser interface, this setting lets you switch themes as often as you like.
  • New Tabs: This setting allows you to determine whether new tabs open in the background, which is the default behavior, or in the foreground of the browser window.
  • Clear: This setting provides the ability to delete browsing history, cache, cookies, and saved passwords from a device's hard drive.

Advanced Settings

The Opera Mini Advanced settings include the following:

  • User-Agent: This setting offers two options, Mobile and Desktop, and dictates the way websites render in the Opera Mini browser. Most websites default to their mobile version when the iOS browser is detected. Changing this setting forces the desktop version of the active page to display.
  • Accept Cookies: Cookies are small text files containing user-specific preferences, login information, and other data used to create a custom browsing experience. Pushed by websites, cookies are allowed by default in Opera Mini. However, this setting allows you to reject all cookies from being stored on your device.
  • Block Pop-ups: The Opera Mini integrated pop-up blocker is disabled by default. Still, it can be quickly activated using the on/off button for this setting.