Opera, best known for its desktop and mobile web browsers has come out with Coast, a browser designed specifically for the iPad. Coast is a huge departure from the company and is unlike any of its browsers that came before. The most striking feature of Coast is the lack of “chrome” in the interface, meaning there are no buttons, menus, or any of the normal interface designs you’re used to. Instead, Coast focuses on making your most frequented websites into “apps.”
The main page of Coast displays your favorite websites in a grid of icons, reminiscent of the iOS home screen. You can tap and hold each icon to move them around or to delete it. There’s an address bar at the top that integrates search as well, like Chrome‘s omnibar. Once you have a website loaded up, you can browse through open sites by hitting the menu button (three dots) and swiping between them. Opera concentrated on making a touch interface with Coast and there’s a ton of touch gestures.
For example, there are no forward or back buttons but users can simply swipe left or right to move between pages. In the open tabs menu, users can swipe up to close that tab or swipe down to reveal the safety information about that site. Opera has built in the “Web of Trust” extension into the app, which measures the trustworthiness of websites to keep users protected.
While Coast is a refreshingly simple browser for the iPad, it’s lack of features really holds it back. There are no bookmarks, folders, sync, or even a private browsing mode. For casual browsing, Coast is great but for power users, Chrome and Safari still rule on the iPad.
Click here to download Coast for the iPad.