Opera thinks they have nailed down the perfect web browser for the iPad, and it relies mostly on gestures and using websites as “apps” in order to make the web browsing experience a little bit more bearable on a tablet. The company has released its Coast browser, and it’s only available on the iPad and iPad mini as a tablet-specific web browser.
The home page of the app sports a very minimalist and simple interface that has a search bar toward the top and a group of tiles in the middle that act as your website history essentially. Opera says they designed the web browser from scratch and throwing all traditional features out the window and starting with something fresh. What they came up with is a web browser that tosses out the traditional interface of back buttons, address fields and scroll bars in favor of gestures for navigation. The only two buttons that are in the app are a home and a recent pages button.
Coast isn’t meant to be a hard replacement for Opera’s current Mini browser for iOS, but it will instead run parallel to it. Opera says that Coast is just a different project that is designed to be simple, but also doesn’t try to solve every problem that the traditional tablet web browser has.
Of course, Coast is missing most of the features that power users would find extremely useful, but for those just wanting to casually browse websites during some leisure time, Coast aims to make the experience about as easy and intuitive as possible.
The app acts almost like the iPad’s homescreen itself, with the browser homepage featuring app tiles that you can tap on or move around to change the order, and you can also swipe side-to-side to view additional pages of website tiles. There’s also no tabbed browsing, so if you visit a website, but want to go back to where you were, you have to actually go back to the previous page instead of closing out the tab that you would’ve opened separately otherwise.
It’s certainly an interesting new concept as far as tablet web browsers are concerned, but it’s definitely not a style that every tablet user would enjoy, as the abundance of features in other browser apps are needed for the power users of the world, including the beloved tabbed browsing and sending content to cloud services to read for later.
Coast is a free app for the iPad and iPad mini, and it’s available now in the iTunes App Store.