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When Apple blocked Google Voice from the App Store, the most hilarious reason they gave was that it replicated a core function of the iPhone. We laughed because there were literally dozens of WebKit based browsers in the App Store, duplicating the functionality of Safari. When Norway's Opera tried to get their browser in the App Store, Apple originally balked, then relinquished. And we celebrated. Well, get out those party hats again because it looks like an upgrade -- a big upgrade -- is coming our way.
According to Softpedia, who got a hands on at the Mobile World conference in Barcelona, Opera has a pretty release ready candidate for the iPad, plus there's supposed to be improvements coming to the iPhone Mini version. Fans of that version, which Apple finally let into their gated community, can confirm for you that the little browser renders pages with lightning speed.
That's because Opera compresses data and imagery on their server side before passing along your search results back to you. That's led to a few unfortunate and garbled pages, but we have to admit: Opera Mini on the iPhone brings the heat.
So we just assumed that an iPad version had to be coming. So we waited, and we waited, and we waited some more.
Could our long wait be over at last? Well, if the polished "demo" version Opera had on hand in Barcelona is any indication, the answer is yes. That version was ready for tech journalists to browse and pinch-and-zoom, tab out the browsing, and test out the under-represented mobile browser's capabilities.
Softpedia's writer gave the browser a big thumb's up and sent back some screenshots to get your interest piqued. Well, consider us piqued. Hopefully it's just a matter of time.