Not to be confused with Opera’s other 3 web browsers, Coast is an iOS-only web browser which Opera says was “made for simplicity, ease of use, and relaxation”. It forgoes the standard web browser interface in favor of a tile based interface where all the useful info like the address bar has been discarded and all of the useful actions (back button, new tab, etc) has been dropped, relocated to the bottom of the screen, or replaced by gestures.
Opera rolled out a new version of Coast today which is supposed to make it more social, faster, and more useful to Mac users.
To start with, Coast 4.0 comes with Opera Turbo enabled by default. Designed to speed up your browsing when you’re on a slow network, Opera Turbo uses Opera’s servers to compress pages to use less data (it can be disabled from the iOS settings menu).
The new version also supports more sharing options (basically, whatever you have authorized on your iDevice), including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, KakaoTalk, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and more. And there is also a mention in the changelog of a new option to browse through trending articles, although I have been unable to find where that is hidden.
And last but not least, Coast also makes it easier for a few users to start browsing in Coast and continue browsing in their Mac’s default browser. It has a new handoff feature which should let users easily switch from one device to the other. It requires BT4 and iCloud, though, so most of us won’t get any use from it.
I’ve been looking at Coast ever since it was first released for the iPad last fall, and it’s not for me. After a few months use I found the browser to be dumbed down, and the new version released today hasn’t changed my mind.
While Coast shows you more of the webpages you’re browsing, other web browsers show you more about those pages. I like knowing more about what I am browsing over having more screen real estate to show a page.
For example, I’d much rather know the URL for page I am viewing rather than have Coast clean up the interface by hiding it. I want to see the back button, I want to see my browsing history, and I want to see how many tabs I have open at one time and be able to switch between them quickly.
Coast clearly isn’t for me, but it might be for you. What did you think of it?