Next generation Opera browser for Android and iOS will be powered by the WebKit engine

14 February 2013 by
Next generation of the popular Opera browser will be powered by the WebKit engine just like the stock Android browser and Apple Safari for iOS

Opera Software logo

Opera is one of the four major web browsers that has its own render engine. Microsoft has made the Internet Explorer, Mozilla is responsible for Firefox and Apple, Adobe and Google are in charge of the WebKit engine. Opera has now announced that its web browser now will switch from its in-house developed render engine called Presto to WebKit.

The collection of Opera browsers has over 300 million monthly users. Opera is available on multiple platforms and operating systems. The full version is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in addition to browser editions for set-top boxes and game consoles. But where the browser has reached most of its market share is from mobile phone usage. The company is currently offering the excellent Opera Mobile edition for smartphones as well as the popular Opera Mini for feature phones.

The Opera Mobile browser for smartphones is using the same render engine as the desktop edition. The user interface is different as it is possible to navigate using both hardware keys and touch displays. Opera Mini operates slightly different from the other browsers mentioned above. It is a special edition where request for web pages are done through a centralized data centre that in short will reduce image file size by reducing its quality and further compress other content before sending the final result back to the client browser. Opera claims that the bandwidth used by the Opera Min browser is reduced by 90% compared to a direct client-server request.

Changing the browser engine from Operas Presto to WebKit will not happen over night. The transition will be done gradually said Opera without being more specific.

As Google has done with the Chrome browser, Opera will in the future use the open source project Chromium as the source for its browser user interface for both desktop and smartphone browsers.

Opera has chosen to switch from its Crakan Javascript engine to the open source V8 Javascript engine also used by Google in the Google Chrome browser. Crakan engine has been the Javascript engine in Opera browsers since 2009.

Opera Software says that "the WebKit project now has the kind of standards support that we could only dream of when our work (with HTML5) began". Opera will continue its development of mouse gestures, Speed Dial and compression techniques. The company will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects with improvement patches and bug fixes.

Opera will be demonstrating a new Smartphone browser at the Mobile World Congress later this month. We will be there and take a closer look at the new browser.


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tranced11 years, 3 months ago
And I thought it couldn't get better. Great work they're doing.
Bonovox11 years, 3 months ago
Haven't used Opera in ages
etaab11 years, 3 months ago
Ive been using Chrome over Opera for many many months now. Opera was easier to use but didnt render pictures very well. Its compression was a bit over the top when you're using a smartphone with a HD screen.

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