Opera to launch AI powered browser for European iOS users

Opera One, launched last year, introduces a redesigned interface and AI features
A representational image of Opera browser. — Opera/File
A representational image of Opera browser. — Opera/File

Opera has revealed its plans to introduce Opera One, the latest version of its browser equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) features, to iOS devices in Europe. 

The announcement closely follows Apple's disclosure of modifications to iOS to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), allowing third-party browsers to offer non-WebKit-based apps on the App Store.

According to Gadgets360, Jorgen Arnesen, EVP Mobile at Opera announced that “As the leading European browser developer, we embrace the changes introduced through the DMA, aimed at fostering competition and offering users a more diverse selection of browsers on iOS. We intend to deliver on this with the AI-centric Opera One for iOS.”.

Read more: Apple’s browser rules are ‘as painful as possible’ — Mozilla

The browser will feature the AI assistant Aria. Although the launch date remains undisclosed, Opera plans to make the browser available in the coming months, with Apple facing a DMA compliance deadline of March 6.

Opera One, launched last year, introduced a redesigned interface and AI features, prominently featuring Aria, an AI chatbot similar to Microsoft Edge's Copilot. 

Aria, powered by Opera's native Composer AI engine, resides in a side panel, assisting users with tasks such as answering queries, generating text for essays and emails, coding, and itinerary planning, among other capabilities. The AI chatbot is internet-connected, providing real-time information.

The essential catalyst behind Opera's decision is Apple's allowance of non-WebKit-based browsers on iOS in Europe. Previously, Apple mandated third-party browsers to utilise a WebKit code base, the engine behind Safari, for their iOS versions. Apple's DMA compliance eliminates this requirement for browsers in the region.

Opera also emphasised the significance of the newly introduced browser choice screen for iOS, a factor that influenced the decision to bring Opera One to the iPhone. This change simplifies the process for users to change their default browser by presenting the option upfront, in contrast to the previous requirement to navigate deep into settings.