Opera unveils new iPad-only browser, Coast

By , Sep 9, 2013

Opera Coast (iPad screensthot 001)Opera Coast (iPad screensthot 002)

Opera Software, a Norwegian developer primarily known for its Opera family of web browsers with over 350 million users worldwide, today unleashed a brand new iPad browser.

It’s called Coast and they’re billing it as “the browser that should have come with the iPad.” If anything, Coast strives to answer the question, “What should a tablet browser be?”

It’s packed with advanced features and features an unassumingly minimalistic user interface. Opera insists it’s not a mere mobile browser tweak, nor a scaled-down PC browser.

“It is something new,” Opera teased Monday, although I’m not sure that’s the right choice of words as Coast is based on Safari’s WebKit engine, in accordance with App Store rules. Anyway, the new browser is based on intuitive swipe gestures and Opera claims to have invented a lot of technology that “works under the hood, keeping you safe and secure”.

Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

Coast is so minimalistic it even lacks the familiar URL field at the top of the screen. You also won’t find back/forward buttons, tab and bookmark buttons. That’s because Coast makes a heavy use of multitouch gestures.

There are only two tappable buttons in Coast, found sitting on a thin bar along the bottom of the screen: one takes you to Coast’s home screen (containing thumbnails of your bookmarks) and another shows the sites you have recently visited – all other navigation is done by swiping from the edges.

Essentials such as website security are handled in the background, with can’t-miss warnings when a suspicious site is accessed and extensive info on site reputation.

The result of this approach is a unique browsing experience which puts your content, not the browser, 100 percent front and center on the whole screen. It’s a beautiful, much-needed change from the crop of third-party web browsers found on the App Store, including Google’s Chrome.

Opera Coast (iPad screensthot 001)Opera Coast (iPad screensthot 002)

Check out the teaser trailer.

Huib Kleinhout, Head of Coast by Opera, explains in another video why they went about creating another iPad browser in the first place.

Opera mentions in a media release that they focused on how iPad users actually interact with their tablets. Learning from that experience and drawing from its 20-year history of building web browsers, Opera has designed Coast to allow for a “more relaxing and lean-back browsing experience when you are on the go or just hanging out on the couch”.

Opera Coast (iPad screensthot 003)

MacStories editor Federico Viticci has a nice overview of gestures in Coast:

There are some good animations in the app. You can delete icons and open pages by swiping up and putting them into a delete area that quickly bounces when it deletes content; icons flip to reveal a website’s homepage, and Google search is always accessible by swiping down on the Home screen.

My favorite detail is how the dot indicators for open pages come up from the bottom of the screen when you open the “tab view” (they are not called tabs in Coast – in fact, there are no text-based menu labels at all).

The app is compatible with iPads running iOS 6.0 or later.

Download Coast for the iPad free from the App Store.

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  • omrishtam

    meh….

  • Jonathan

    Looks good and clean. But is it stable?

    • Andy

      Seems to be getting good reviews so far, I’d say it’s worth a try. I understand why they made it tablet only – the experience is different, but I would love to try it on my iPhone as well since I mostly use Chrome.

  • Rowan09

    It should have been a flash browser. Anyone looking for a flash iPad browser well a full browser because even some mobile flash browsers aren’t full browsers check out iSwifter, I’ve been using it for years now and it’s way better than Cloudbrowse.

    • jayjarn

      What is a “flash browser”?

      • FOFF

        dont bother cause flash is dead..

      • Rowan09

        Flash isn’t dead, old but not dead. There are times nevertheless when someone will need to watch a video that’s in flash or to simply just go on certain websites, it’s always best to be able to view those pages as well.

      • Rowan09

        Since IOS devices doesn’t allow flash videos through the stock browser, you have to use another browser instead of Safari. Flash browser allows you to use your IOS devices without any limitations like a computer.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        “Flash browser allows you to use your IOS devices without any limitations like a computer.”

        False! Flash browsers involve using remote streaming technology to stream a flash video to your device. There isn’t a single flash browser that has a modified, patched or official version of Adobe Flash Player with them all utilising remote streaming technology and quite frankly I could do the same thing with Splashtop.

      • jayjarn

        None of the major mobile browsers support Flash anymore. Adobe even killed Flash on mobile.

        Flash on mobile is dead. There is no demand for it.

  • Moi

    Looks cool and ios 7- friendly

  • s0me

    concept name was Opera ICE…

  • onebyone_

    Great concept!
    looks clean, love the design, but isn’t enough about speed.(compare with safari)
    Had little bugs, doesn’t have an option (press link and hold to open in a new tab).
    and others things. (Try to comment and edit from Coast browser on this web page, you I’ll can’t do that, you will lose the text pointer).

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael Luik

      I didn’t understand, there’s no way to open links in a new “tab”?

      About your comment on speed, Apple doesn’t allow any browser faster than Safari in their app store, they specifically don’t allow developers to enable JavaScript JIT or publish their own engine on the platform so blame Apple.

  • Nipasaurus

    So far this browser has been fantastic; it’s extremely intuitive and great to look at. I haven’t had any stability issues yet, so it seems like a solid browser. I’ll definitely be using this as my go-to browser if it keeps up the awesomeness.

  • Ted Forbes

    I have been using Opera for many years now, in fact it is my main browser, very smooth even though some websites like GoDaddy email server do not fully support it I love Opera. I just downloaded Coast for iPad, it will be some time before I see what all it can do, but so far Its terrific, very smooth it feels like Apple.