back to article Apple: If you're under 17, you can't use Opera

Apple has allowed Opera's desktop browser into its new Mac App Store, but it has decreed that no one under 17 years old can download the thing. Jan Standal, vice president of desktop products for Opera Software, takes issue with Apple's stance. "I’m very concerned,” he said in a statement. “Seventeen is very young, and I am …


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  1. skeptical i

    First class response, Jan!

    Best laugh I've had all day.

    1. anarchic-teapot
      Thumb Up

      I propose creating an annual award

      for the Most Elegantly Sarcastic press release. We already have the first of this year's nominees.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
        Thumb Up


        letters and digits

      2. MrCheese
        Thumb Up

        I've got a nominee for that too!

        "In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula One car with a pick-up truck... the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari," the Italian team said in a tongue-in-cheek posting on its website's 'Horse Whisperer' column.

        "It appears that this could have caused so much confusion in the minds of the consumer across the Pond that, at the same time as losing the F, the name will be completely Italianised, replacing the English "th" with the equivalent Italian symbol."

        - Ferrari F1 team repsonse to Ford copyright infringement threat:

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mind games / FUD

    This is just Apple playing their usual mind games.

    I suspect it's targeting parents, who don't understand the Interwebs. They have no idea *why* there should be such a restriction, but a family-friendly company like Apple wouldn't do it without a very good reason, right?

    Ahhh... Whatever this 'Opera' thing is, it must be some gadget thing that the other kids in the playground are using to browse pr0n, buy drugs and "hook up with girls in your area" etc. Just like that Bit Torrent brand of DVD player I read about in the Daily Mail or something.

    Well there's no way *my* little Johnny, who incidentally is as pure as the driven snow and I'm going to keep him that way, is having this preverted 'Opera' thing on his phone. If I see him even looking at it I shall confiscate his phone, ground him and revert to driving him (safely) to and from the sixth form centre every day.

    And Norwegian?!! That's where they legalised all the pr0n in the 70s or something! Proof!

    <valium src="" dosage="60mg" period="daily">Won't someone think of the children!</valium>

    1. Shades


      Who mentioned phones? Did you read the same story as me? The clue is in the very *first* sentence:

      "Apple has allowed Opera's *desktop* browser into its new *Mac* App Store, but it has decreed that no one under 17 years old can download the thing."

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Lame-o 5000

        Let me get this right - of all the stuff in the parent post you decide to latch onto an almost inconsequential error to try to undermine the argument? Fail.

      2. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

        In fairness... is probably the default medium for internet access among teens these days. It's only us old folks that need a mouse and a screen big enough to read on.

  4. Darryl
    Thumb Up

    Nice one, Jan Standal

    Excellent response. Pokes fun, but not mean.

  5. Rob Crawford
    Jobs Horns

    According to Snapple

    Opera have

    Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes on Opera

    I think they're actually referring to the internet not actually Opera

    1. Tom 35

      Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes on Opera

      Maybe Apple got confused with those furen musical play things that you have to read the booklet thing to figure out what's going on because they are not in English.

    2. Thomas Davie


      ... That would be because Opera fails to implement the parental controls system in the OS... All applications with internet access that don't implement this get the 17+ rating.

      1. Intractable Potsherd
        Jobs Horns


        I'm not one of the downvoters, because I suspect you are probably correct in your analysis. However, I *really* need to express my continuing amazement that people buy into a company that does this sort of thing.

        1. Tigra 07
          Thumb Up

          RE: Intractable Potsherd

          Agree completely.

          More money than brains springs to mind.

    3. hitmouse


      Have you seen an Opera - mad fat women screaming and all sorts of murder, incest and mayhem ensues. HipHop is much safer.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    "Productivity" software? A browser?

    Is that what they call idly surfing the web when you're supposed to be working these days...?

  7. squilookle

    As Icon

    As Title

  8. Mursu

    Holy age racism!

    Hell, i can understand a drinking limit and no gambling till you're 18 here in Finland, but imposing an age limit for a browser that still shows you the same goatse as Safari is protectionism at its peak!

  9. bhtooefr

    A friend of mine actually does use the under 17 thing as an IQ test...

    She actually rated one of her apps as 17+, specifically to weed out morons that would install the app, not read the description, be surprised when it does something the description says, and then go and rate it 1 star.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to stick it to Apple!

    Yeah, this makes no sense! LAME!!!1 Apple hates thinking, smart, awesome people like us. They only like stupid sheep. We are 2 l33t for them. Werd. "Apparently some Apple users still know how to think!" LOL that is so true1!

    No, you got me, I'm being sarcastic. Doesn't Safari (and other built-in Mac software) have parental controls? Wouldn't downloading Opera from the Mac Store be a very, very, simple way to get around them? Yes, sure, parental controls are for n00bs and any halfway technical kid will get around them. Still, this whole "Apple == teh thought police" narrative is getting a bit old and tired for anyone over, say... 24 or so. Could have gone with 17, but being generous.

    Techies need to start thinking themselves instead of reacting with this knee-jerk manner to anything they don't understand.

    1. mccp

      This title has been censored as it contained adult themes

      Way to go downvoters!

      I don't agree with the Apple policy, but this post offers a very believable and perfectly justifiable reason for restricting access to Opera (assuming it really doesn't offer parental controls).

      Usually the commenterati on here have a pretty expert view of security related subjects. Maybe the downvoters are just providing a knee jerk reaction to an Apple-positive comment. Whatever.

    2. Martijn Bakker
      Thumb Down


      For excessive use of exlamation marks and capitalisation, more insults than I usually enjoy accepting from a comedian with an actual sense of humour and enough leet speak to make ones ears bleed.

      Too bad. Your point is actually valid and could have been well received (even if pro Apple posts generally are not).

  11. Chris 171
    Jobs Horns

    Opera does it again...

    Love the way Opera flips apples obtuse decision making processes back on themselves.

    All the while generating more publicity for the product off the back of it. (remember the countdown to when Opera Mini was 'allowed' onto the iphone)

    Good work.

    You know, if apple weren't so creepily odd, more people might like them.


    1. Ilgaz

      remember bork edition?

      remember they proved msn feeds their particular browser some crap html and released bork edition? Everyone had a great laugh.

      On the other hand, they also politely sued the hell out of msft and rumour says, they may have won 500M Euros.

      suits at apple must be careful laughing, it seems Opera ASA jokes while they plan to bite (rightfully).

  12. Richard Cartledge

    Parental controls

    What would be the point of MacOSX's excellent parental controls if the youths ca just download Opera to bypass Safari's restrictions. Apple is from the USA and in some states you're considered a child until into your early 20's!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But, but...

      in the USA you're allowed (sometimes even encouraged) to kill people way before this age!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Age Limits

      In some parts of the world a lot of people consider anyone from the USA to be a child, though most think that this applies to presidents, presidential hopefuls, and those from certain states, e.g the state of apple.

  13. ScissorHands
    Jobs Horns

    Think of the children!

    I'm pretty sure that's because Opera will not integrate with the Parental Guidance system preference pane.

    This this strawman will come in handy to block all alternative browsers will be icing on delicious cake.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Probably right, as the many above you who said the same thing... But if Opera is free to download how will they prevent those under 17 from downloading it anyway? Are they going to ask "Are you 17, Yes/No?" or require a credit card for a "free" purchase?

      I certainly would not trust Apple with my credit card information.

      Wasn't there a story a while back about a 1 year old who managed to bill $12,000 in apps with an iPad? Are Apple's parental controls really worth this nonsense given that fact?

  14. hitmouse
    Jobs Horns

    Told ya so

    This is exactly what Apple has been insisting on with all apps that can download pictorial content found on the web. That Safari can download the same material is complete hypocrisy on Apple's part.

    Let the thumb-downing begin!

    1. mafoo


      Except that parents can go to [Settings > General > Restrictions] and turn safari off, thus preventing said porn browsing ankle biters from looking up wobbly bits.

      I makes sense if you take a step back, considering that parents want to be more controlling than Apple.

  15. Coderjoe

    Parental controls

    This has nothing to do with preventing kids from knowing they can install apps that didn't come from the app store. This has to do with the mac's parental controls. Safari ties into them. Opera (and other programs) do not. That is all this is about.

    (and no, I am not an apple fanboy. I don't even have any of their products.)

    1. Lance 3

      Try again

      If that is the case, then how come if you enable parental controls and try to go to an adult oriented site, Safari does block you, but you can go to Opera and download Opera for the Mac. Now you would need to have administrator access to install the program though, which you would still need if you used the app store though; so that is a moot point. Apple has once again overstepped their bounds, it is as simple as that.

      1. Steve Todd

        @Lance 3 - that post made no sence whatsoever

        Safari wont let you browse pron if parental controls are enabled. The app store won't let you install a 17+ app if they are enabled (and you don't need an admin login to install from the app store). If a parent installs an app then they are warned that it may provide access to 17+ content (do you really want your sprog to be able to do this?). How is this any worse than PC apps like Net Nanny?

      2. KroSha

        Not so

        You can install Opera in your own home folder without an admin password. You only need an admin account to install it for all users in the main Applications folder.

  16. Andy Hards

    Might have something to do with the fact that

    on some networks you can't look at sexy pictures of girls and stuff when accessing the interwebs but if you use Opera then you are still able to on their 3g networks, apparently, someone told me um maybe.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    This is different from the Usual Apple how?

    Apple treats any app where there's even a hint of seeing objectionable things as needing the 17+ rating. That is, I wrote a chat program for iOS, and the dictum was to either get the 17+ rating, or filter out all the naughty words that people wrote. Pretty much anything that connects to an uncontrolled source (Like, say a webbrowser) gets this 17+, even if they use Apple's own web browser tech. As stupid as the rules may be, at least this is a case of consistency.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parental Controls

    It's a legal disclaimer because Opera bypasses Safaris Parental Controls.

    That's all it is, no great conspiracy, no real story. Just an opportunity for the people that like bashing apple to bash them.

    This my friends is a total none story

    1. Lance 3

      Based on what?

      Have you tried it? It doesn't bypass the parental controls at all, it follows the same exact settings as Safari as the it is external of the browser.

      So it is not "a total none story" as you make it out to be.

  19. John Savard

    Only One Explanation

    For some reason, the parental control feature on the iPhone or iPad doesn't limit what people can access with Opera, even though it does limit what people can access with Safari.

    Parental control software for PCs doesn't behave that way - it is not tied to the browser, but filters everything coming into the computer, because it has to. So Apple doesn't get off the hook if parental control is the issue, since they chose to put it where it would give them an excuse to obstruct competitors.

    1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      It's because

      web requests from Opera Mini are proxied via Opera's servers

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Another Charlie Sheen ?

    They must be drinking from the same watering hole.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Anyone with an IQ under 80 should be forced to use Safari."

    That would destroy competing products entirely.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      Anyone with an IQ under 80

      That would be Apple users then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think the AC here outsmarted the downvoters. He said that would destroy competing products. He is implying here that everyone with an IQ over 80 is already using Safari and that only idiots are using other browsers.

      Of course, the exact opposite is true. Everyone knows that Safari is the least secure browser of the decade.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @ Bullseyed

        They do?

        Does this mean all web browsers based on webkit are also insecure?

        I'm not quibbling, I'm asking - I genuinely don't know - last time I kept up with this sort of thing was back in the IE/firefox days.

        I stopped keeping up when I realised that by far the most insecure bit was the fleshy thing pressing the keys.

  22. NeVeRyn

    Has anyone even considered...

    You do realize, that buying or installing software is agreeing to an End User License Agreement and is considered a legal contract.... all of which (In the US at least) requires the end user to be 18+...

    1. Lance 3


      Ok, shall we entertain your line of thinking, then EVERY app would be 17+ now wouldn't it? Given that some are and some are not, that is clearly NOT the case.

  23. Steen Hive

    Anyone with an IQ under 80 should be forced to use Safari.

    Tautology buried in there somewhere, surely!

  24. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Opera does not bypass the Mac's parental controls

    The Mac's web filtering parenal control is an Apache local proxy. There was a point a few years back where Firefox blew up if you had the web parental controls turned on but I've no idea if they fixed it.

    Therefore Apple's 17+ rating is because of some other nonsense only known to Apple.

    1. Quxy

      But Opera has proxy servers too!

      And when Opera Turbo is enabled, the browser sends the request to the Opera servers, thus effectively bypassing the OSX local proxy used for parental controls. (Trust me, Opera Turbo has come in handy when working at certain customer sites!)

  25. batfastad
    Jobs Horns

    Browser election

    This stuff seriously stinks.

    Just a general question here... were Apple forced to display a browser election screen similar to the result of the ruling against MS? Since Safari is bundled with the OS.

    MS were also panned for Windows Media Player as well but I don't think there was a judgement on that. But what about iTunes being bundled with the OS?

    Or is it different rules for different companies depending on market share?

    1. KroSha

      Differing bundles

      iTunes is not bundled with the OS. If you buy a new Mac, it comes with the latest OS. It also comes with the latest iLife and a trial of iWork.

      If you want to buy just the OS, if upgrading an older Mac, iTunes doesn't come with it.

      But it's a free download anyway.

      Safari and IE are slightly different beasts. Try uninstalling IE completely off a Windows system and see how well it works. Safari is easy to remove.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    if i were an apple fanboi

    i'd be cringing with embarrassment......

    but i'm not, which makes this one of the funniest things i've read for a while. almost as funny as the duke nukem trailer vids.

  27. Nym O'Nonymous
    Thumb Up

    I applaud Apple

    Apple parental control setup is excellent and I rely on it to allow my two children to use the best of the net while avoiding accidentally having to see the worst of the net.

    As previous commenters have highlighted, this is to preserve the parental controls which could be trivially circumvented if my children could just download an alternative web browser.

    To all the kneejerk commenters - please engage your brains before engaging your knees.

    1. dogged
      Thumb Down

      Except that it isn't.

      Parental control works via a local Apache proxy, as somebody else pointed out. All local browsers then read from this proxy.

      So, basically, you're wrong and you're a grotesquely ugly freak.

      1. mccp

        You nearly had me...

        until the gratuitous abuse.

        1. dogged


          Quoting Chris Morris is never gratuitous.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      why not parent your kids and watch what they are doing.

      Or use you router to block things you don't want them to see?

  28. Tempest

    Idiots must use Safari; Anyone with an IQ under 80 should be forced to use Safari.

    Just about covers an iPhan.

    (Why should other people get more red button hits!)

  29. batfastad

    Fisher Price

    Always figured OSX was the Fisher Price and Early Learning Centre of the operating system world.

    Can't you just go to the Opera site, download it, then just install it themselves?

    Guess that could require an IQ >= 80

    Oh and for the people reading this with Safari... >= means greater than or equal to.

  30. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  31. windywoo

    Opera Turbo bypasses local proxies

    But still it is a poor excuse for the 17 rating. If the kid is smart enough to work out Opera Turbo he's probably smarter than his parents at technical matters.

  32. Frankenstein

    Corrupted English

    "Safari is the Apple browser that comes preinstalled on Apple Macs..."

    No, "Safari is the Apple browser that comes" installed "on Apple Macs..."

    Better: Apple's Safari is the browser installed on Apple Macs at the factory.

  33. UBfusion
    Jobs Horns

    F&$@king Mac App Store, how does it work?

    What disturbs me is that the rating system is silent - i.e. apps are rated 17+ without an explicitly stated reason. As a counterexample, here is a proper and informative rating from IMDb for a random movie: "Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content/nudity".

    I will not go into the hypocrisy of MPAA ratings (e.g. the 100+ violent kills in a random PG-13 movie), but my point is that parents can read this informative rating and know what they risk exposing their children to when going to the movies or renting the DVD.

    I don't remember parents having to sign any Terms of Use contract when purchasing a computer or a smartphone, stating that "this product has a rating of X for possible strong violence, language, and possibly a whole LOT of sexual content/nudity. By agreeing to this TOS you are expected to protect any children under 18 using this product. Neglect of proper parental control is liable under the country's laws such and such".

    By the way, Opera has disappeared from the top free list, as expected. Currently #1 is 'Virtual DJ Home', a mixing app famously used by the Insane Clown Posse to produce their +4-rated masterpiece 'Miracles' (ain't the App Store a Miracle?) containing the famous existential rant "F&$@king Magnets, How do they Work?"

  34. Skizz

    It's obviously...

    ...a simple case of misunderstanding. Someone heard "Opera" and thought they heard "Oprah" and thought the app was a portal for Ms Winfrey's empire, which is certainly not sutable for minors. Come to think of it, it isn't really suitable for anyone.

  35. Spiracle
    Thumb Up


    As has been pointed out 'Turbo' mode probably bypasses the parental controls.

    Remember that Opera does, however, have it's own parental functions as, in turbo-mode, pr0n will be so pixellated and compressed that it won't be worth looking at.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @I propose creating an annual award

    "for the Most Elegantly Sarcastic press release. We already have the first of this year's nominees."

    I think there's a second contender: Ferrari responding to complaints that when they decided to mark the 150th anniversary of Italian unification by naming this years Formula 1 car the "F150 Italia" and Ford complained that this infringed on their trademark on F-150 (which is one of their trucks) made the statement

    "In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula One car with a pick-up truck ... the men from Maranello have decied that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari"

  37. Kenneth Ross

    Talk about losing the plot...........

    You got to be 17 to download Opera, and you can't use Adobe's Automatic Translation tools for Flash, because Flash is the main cause of Macs crashing............

    Apple are losing the plot. If its not big bad Microsoft, then its big bad Adobe. There's something wrong with the kid who keeps insisting "It wasn't me. The big boys did it and ran away"

  38. RightPaddock

    I read it as

    "Apple: If you're under i7, you can't use Opera".

  39. Mark .

    Parental controls? I don't think so.

    Surely any competently written age-restriction software would block access no matter what application was requesting them? Implementing it on a per-application basis is an obvious flaw and loophole.

    I mean, so sure - Apple can mark Opera 18+, but that hardly solves the problem, as any kid can download Opera for their website, and get round the block. So as a parental control, it's utterly useless.

    How on earth do the various filtering software you can get for Windows (and presumably OS X) work? Clearly applications aren't written to take account of filtering software, but they somehow manage to do the job.

    Also, presumably any competent OS these days requires admin privileges to install an application, which can be withheld from the child, again meaning that age restrictions aren't needed?

  40. Bob 18

    Just Ban Opera

    Why don't they just go whole hog and ban Opera altogether? I mean... Safari is the ultimate web browser, Steve Jobs said so himself. And Opera goes against so many terms of the App Store. For example, it allows you to download non-Jobs-approved content, it allows you to install non-Jobs-approved software, and --- gasp --- even spend money on goods and services without going through iJobs and its 30% mob fee.

    For the safety of all humankind, I think we need to ban Opera forthright!

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