Opera introduces faster-loading video in Mini browser for iOS

Opera has released a new version of its Mini browser for Apple’s iOS platform, this time adding a feature called “video boost”.

One of the key features of Opera Mini has long been “Turbo”, its ability to render webpages on the server-side so that the user gets to use less data and see faster-loading, albeit compressed, pages (and yes, this has privacy implications.) Video boost, rolled out in version 9.0 of Opera Mini for iOS on Thursday, is pretty much that, for video.

The video boost feature largely stems from Opera’s $155 million purchase of the browser outfit Skyfire last year – this was Skyfire’s standout feature, and Skyfire’s “Rocket Optimizer” engine is behind what we’re seeing this week.

As Opera Mini for iOS product manager Maciej Kocemba told me, video boost doesn’t transcode video that is already of low quality — but when it does transcode it, it can compress it to as little as a tenth of the original size. The feature, which is part of Opera Turbo, can also be deactivated if needed.

“If you’re streaming over Airplay to a full-HD TV, you would like to turn it off,” Kocemba said. “But in most cases it’s one of those fire-and-forget features.”