In a bold move that’s set to shake up the mobile browsing landscape in Europe, Opera has announced its plans to introduce a groundbreaking AI-powered browser, Opera One, for iOS users. This strategic pivot comes in the wake of significant policy changes prompted by the European Digital Markets Act (DMA), fundamentally altering how third-party browsers operate on iOS devices.
For years, Apple’s stringent policy mandated that all third-party browsers on iOS use WebKit — the same engine powering its native Safari browser. This long-standing requirement often limited the technological diversity and innovation potential for alternative browsers on iOS platforms. However, the DMA’s new regulations are changing the game, compelling Apple to open its doors to non-WebKit browsers, both as standalone apps and for in-app web page displays.
This policy shift heralds a new era for browser competition and user choice in the European Union. Opera, a pioneering force in the browser industry and hailing from Norway, is leading the charge. The company’s announcement of Opera One for iOS is more than just a new product launch; it’s a testament to their commitment to leveraging AI technology to enhance the user experience.
Jorgen Arnesen, Opera’s EVP Mobile, expressed enthusiasm for the DMA’s push towards a more competitive landscape. “We’re thrilled about the DMA fostering a vibrant browser ecosystem on iOS. Opera One for iOS, centered around AI, represents our vision for the future — a future where users aren’t just limited to default options but have the power to choose technologically advanced alternatives,” Arnesen stated.
Opera’s ambition doesn’t stop at offering an alternative to Safari. The company is also excited about Apple’s upcoming browser choice screen for iOS. This feature will further empower users, allowing them to effortlessly set their preferred browser as the default on their mobile devices.
The interoperability request form, a recent announcement from Apple, is another aspect that Opera is keenly looking forward to. This form will enable developers to seek greater integration with iPhone and iOS features, potentially opening up new avenues for innovation and user experience enhancements.
Slated for a March debut to coincide with the DMA’s implementation, Opera One for iOS is poised to be a game-changer in the region. While these changes are currently confined to the European Union, Opera is advocating for a global expansion of these newfound freedoms for iOS users.
Details about Opera One’s specific features are still under wraps, but the company’s recent foray into AI with its “Aria” browser AI and the Opera One desktop browser offers a glimpse into what could be expected. Opera has emphasized its commitment to a generative AI-based future, hinting at a browser experience that’s not only about accessing the web but also about interacting with it in more intelligent, intuitive ways.
Opera’s upcoming announcement of a major investment in a key AI infrastructure project in Europe further underscores its dedication to leading the AI revolution in browser technology. This investment is likely to bolster the capabilities of Opera One, ensuring that it’s not just another browser, but a gateway to a more connected, AI-integrated web experience.
As we eagerly await the launch of Opera One for iOS, it’s clear that the browser wars are heating up, with AI and user choice at the forefront. Opera’s strategic move, backed by the DMA’s regulatory changes, marks a significant moment in mobile browsing history — one that could redefine how we interact with the web on our mobile devices.
In conclusion, Opera One for iOS is more than just a new browser; it’s a symbol of technological evolution and user empowerment. Its arrival is set to ignite a new wave of innovation in the browser space, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future holds. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting development.