Opera Releases New WebKit-Based Browser 'Coast'

by

Norwegian software company Opera Software ASA has released a brand-new WebKit-based browser named Coast for the iPad. The browser, which comes with the tagline "the browser that should have come with the iPad", is the product of one and a half years of software development at the company's headquarters in Oslo.


Coast is Opera's attempt to build a browser actually optimized for a touchscreen interface, such as the one on the iPad, and dispenses away with the traditional toolbar seen in most internet browsers. Instead, users swipe back and forth to navigate between pages and, in order to keep the interface as clean as possible and to help users focus on the web page they are currently viewing, the URL box is missing. There are no tabs for individual pages; users can switch back and forth using thumbnails, much like switching applications in iOS 7, and close down pages by swiping upwards.

The iPad is nearly buttonless; why shouldn’t the apps for it be? Elements such as back and forward buttons are gone from Coast. All navigation is done by swiping the way you naturally would on an iPad – just like in a good iPad app. A single button takes you to the home screen, and another shows the sites you have recently visited – that’s about it for buttons in Coast.

When using touch-based navigation, small buttons that work on a regular computer don’t work well on a tablet. It’s not about just enlarging already existing elements; it’s about making the design interesting and uncluttered.

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.

2013-09-09 15.02.07
The home screen of Coast displays a number of common websites, such as YouTube, Google+ and Vice, which can be shuffled around and deleted if necessary. Commonly-viewed pages will also start appearing over time. Unlike Opera's previous browser, Opera MiniCoast now relies on WebKit, the default engine built into iOS to render pages, rather than its own. The project is simply an attempt by Opera to try and redesign the browsing experience on a tablet device, and the company plans to release it to the iPhone and other devices such as Android soon.

Coast is a free download from the App Store and is currently only available on the iPad. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

err404 Avatar
96 months ago

Just curious, does this run at full speed as it should? Or is Apple still crippling third party browsers to keep Safari "ahead".

For the record Apples high speed JavaScript engine is a bit of a hack. It requires access to RAM in a way that leaves the OS exposed to malicious code. Safari is a trusted app that can use the API in a tightly controlled maner to limit this risk.
Adding the process isolation overhead to the code in order to make it suitable for third party developers would likely eliminate much of the performance advantage. So in reality there is little advantage for third party apps to want access to use it over the engine they already have access to.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dustman Avatar
96 months ago
Just curious, does this run at full speed as it should? Or is Apple still crippling third party browsers to keep Safari "ahead".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
braintumor Avatar
96 months ago
Wow... First time I prefer to use an alternative browser over Safari... Its really intuitive, quick to use and you immediately feel that this should be how a tablet browser should really look like!

Great job Opera!

Just curious, why doesn't Opera make this their default browser for touch devices instead of offering this next to "old" Opera browser with a different name?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
valdikor Avatar
96 months ago
Wow, this is amazing, just after a few minutes of trying it out, I am astonished. This is what a true mobile touch browser should work like. This is the first time I wish iOS offered you the option to change the default browser. We'll see how well it works out for me over time.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redscull Avatar
96 months ago
This is much closer to the way mobile browsers should have always worked. The desktop-inspired, tabbed holdovers are terrible. Google Chrome for iPhone (but specifically not the iPad version) is the best mobile browser on iOS right now. And finally, with this Opera Coast, we have a proper iPad browser.

I really hope the new iOS 7 Safari (which I myself have not tried) understands and does the kind of stuff that iPhone Chrome and iPad Coast are doing. This is good user interface design, something Apple hasn't really made progress on in quite a few years.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
96 months ago
wooahhhh, now THIS is GOOD. this is what safari on iOS 7 should be.
opera got a lot of smart people working there.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...