Most iPhone apps that get ported to the iPad’s bigger screen look pretty decent, but there are times when only an app designed specially for tablets would do. When it comes to web browsers, all the popular ones like Safari, Chrome and Yahoo! Axis have universal apps, while there are a few iPad-exclusive options available as well, including Dolphin HD and Webnote. Another big name that has been around on iPhone for quite a while is Opera Mini. Although the app is optimized for the iPad, the company has come up with a complete new web browser designed just for the bigger screen. Coast by Opera is an iPad web browser that is sure to generate a considerable fan following, owing to its intuitive design and the convenience it offers for navigating the web.
Coast is not the most feature-rich web browser you will even see in the App Store, but the app has its own charming simplicity that might just keep you coming back. The app displays a video tutorial when launched for the first time, but it is not too long owing to the fact that Coast doesn’t have too much going on.
The main page of the browser has a few tiles, below a combined URL and search bar. These tiles consist of favicons belonging to bookmarked websites. A few bookmarks come with Coast by default, but you can get rid of them by long-pressing and dragging the icons to the top of the screen. In addition to the main screen, you can keep your web shortcuts saved on multiple screens by simply swiping to the right.
The URL & search bar in Coast is pretty interesting. Whenever you start typing, it generates autosuggestions after each word. Above the bar, there are also shortcuts that can be used to quickly put .com and .net at the end of the address. The search area even generates a preview of the website you are about to open as soon as you finish entering its complete address.
Once a webpage is open, you can’t perform a new query without going back to the main screen, which isn’t as tough as it sounds. To go back to previous pages at any time during browsing, just swipe from left to right. Visited pages can also be reopened by hitting the small icon in the bottom-right corner, which brings up the tab switching view.
In the switching menu, it is possible to share web pages over social media, or save their links as bookmarks. Hit the ‘info’ icon if you have any qualms regarding the current page’s security. Coast makes use of WOT to come up with a safety report for websites, with separate sections for Encryption, Reputation, and Trust.
Coast is a great app and if you own an iPad, we highly recommend that you take it for a test run. The browser is available for free, and can be found at the link below.