Opera, maker of the well-known browser of the same name, announced today that it has successfully integrated its AI assistant, Aria, into the iOS version of the browser, making it available for the first time on all major platforms.
According to a company announcement, Opera’s seen rapid growth in the use of Aria, boasting one million users as of today. The AI assistant, like many in use now, is based on a collaboration with OpenAI, giving users access to that company’s large language models without creating a separate user account. An Opera account is required to use Aria, however. Aria also uses Opera’s in-house Composer architecture for access to real-time web results, grafting a layer of live information onto the chatbot’s responses.
Aria works in much the same way as ChatGPT, Bing and other chatbots — it accepts natural-language queries and provides plain-English results within a second or two. Like other chatbots, it’s apparently able to generate snippets of code for major programming languages like C++, Java, JS, and Python, as well as its own algorithms for searching and sorting data. It’s even able to create machine learning code through libraries like TensorFlow and scikit-learn.
Opera made a point of noting that Aria was not enabled by default and that users will need to activate it to make use of its features.
“As AI arrives on Opera for iOS, it’s essential to emphasize that the AI experience within Opera is entirely user-controlled,” the company said. “You have the autonomy to opt in based on your preference for engaging with AI services.”
Opera on iOS also includes integration with Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which helps cut down on third-party tracking cookies, as well as a built-in VPN service for more secure browsing.
The Opera browser, which has been around since 1995, became a Chromium-based application in 2013, and led the way in terms of features that most major browsers now include as standard, including built-in pop-up blockers and tabbed browsing. While it’s not the first to offer an AI assistant —Microsoft, for instance, includes the Bing AI chatbot in Edge — browit’s one of the first to integrate the technology across all of the major platforms.
An Aria-enabled version of Opera is available for iOS now. It’s free to use, although the AI features do require an Opera account.
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