Browser company, Opera Software, intends to launch a new web browser for smartphones and tablets in February at the Mobile World Congress. Dubbed as Opera Ice, the browser will be released for iOS and Android devices, according to Opera Software CEO, Lars Boilesen. The news was first reported by Pocket Lint
which had exclusive access to a video of an internal meeting, where the Opera Ice browser was also demoed.
The most interesting bit about the development is that the browser will be based on the WebKit rendering engine instead of the usual Presto engine. It is noteworthy that, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari web browsers also use WebKit, which offers better rendering compatibility with websites and faster browsing when compared to Presto.
The browser features a minimalist design getting rid of interface elements such as buttons and tabs and employing gestures, icons and a single URL plus search bar. The browser focuses on visual elements, and offers previews of websites as the user keys-in a URL.
Boilesen didn't rule out a version for Windows Phone and also confirmed that a Desktop browser was also in the works, slated for a March release. He further added that the company would also continue its efforts around the Opera Mini browser.
Presently, Opera offers the Opera Mini browser on Android and iOS, with the iOS version being based on server side rendering in the cloud. Opera's been banking on its USP of data compression through which it allows users to access websites on slow GPRS/Edge connections, consuming lesser data.