When it comes to web browsing on the iPad, the options are fairly limited compared to the offerings for the iPhone. The prime reason behind this is that most of the browsers available on the App Store have been built with the iPhone’s small screen in mind, and the same browsing apps face cluttering, lags and other issues when used on the iPad.
Looks like Opera, famous for its Opera Mini browser for the iPhone and iPad, has realized this notion and have recently released Coast, an exclusive web browser for the iPad. It joins the long list of browsers that have tried to incorporate new functionality for iPad users, but this may just be the one that was missing.
The company initially announced the browser at the TechCrunch Disrupt, and even hailed it as the browser that should have arrived with the iPad. It incorporates swipe based gestures to navigate between pages and the swipes can also be used to refresh the page. This allows the user to enjoy all the elements and the full screen space offered by Apple’s tablet.
Operating Coast Opera Browser
When you download the app and launch it for the first time, you’ll be presented with a video tutorial that takes you on a short tour of what Coast has to offer. There are a few tiles present in the main interface, and the top of the tiles contain a search bar and a URL. The tiles include different favicons, which indicate the webpages that have been bookmarked.
A few bookmarks will be present by default, but you can place them with custom bookmarks. This can be done by long pressing any of the favicons and taking it on top of the screen to delete it. And apart from placing shortcuts on the main interface, you can place them in different screens of the browser through a rightward swipe.
Coast might not be as advanced as other iOS platforms, but it offers enough stability and security to be considered among the best browsers available for the tablet to date. You can also always beef up your mobile security measures with antivirus software. Coast does give a report about the reputation and trust of a particular website, giving users an idea of whether a webpage is deemed valuable or otherwise.
Any of the webpages that will open are going to occupy the whole screen, without any URL or borders. You can also refresh the screen through a downward swipe, or tap on the tiny squares at the bottom to go back to the home screen. For navigating through all the webpages that are open at a single time, you can use the white squares that are present at the bottom right of the screen (this is called the tab switching view).
The tab switching will enable you to save links of opened webpages as bookmarks and share their URLs over different social media networks. The built-in search function lets you search for webpages and then redirects you to Google results.
The Final Verdict
Coast is a different perspective on web browsers for iOS and it feels quite elegant to use on the iPad. It also received an update for iOS 7 back in September, which included a new UI to match the look and feel of the latest OS, 3D effects in the background and some stability improvements. The app is free to download and has multi-language support.
James Walker has been an avid designer and coder since he was 12. James writes and curates topics on both basic web development and advanced languages with a particular focus on mobile. Read his thought on tech on Twitter and his favorite articles on Google+.