Opera unveils gesture-based Coast browser for Apple's iPad


Opera Software introduced Coast, a Web-browsing application optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) bestselling iPad tablet.

Opera's new Coast browser for the iPad.

Developed under the codename "ICE" and powered by the WebKit engine, which also powers Apple's Safari and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome browsers, the free Coast app dispenses with longtime browser fixtures like a URL field at the top of the screen, back and forward buttons, tabs and bookmarks, instead delivering a gesture-based interface optimized for the touchscreen-enabled tablet form factor. Core Coast elements include a homescreen touting a grid of icons representing different web pages, swipe-based navigation, a search box and small buttons for returning to the homepage and exploring recently visited sites. Other features like website security are handled in the background, alerting users when they attempt to visit suspicious sites.

Coast project head Huib Kleinhout said that Opera set out to remove the complexities and UI redundancies of the traditional browser model. "I wanted to make a browser for the Internet as it is now, not for the geeks 20 years ago," Kleinhout told CNet. "We need to build a browser for tablets, and for [tablet] users, and for the Internet as it is now--more application-based."

Opera first expanded its Mini browser to iOS in 2010, heralding the first time that Apple allowed a rival browser access to its App Store to compete against the iPhone's default Safari. Opera scrapped its Presto rendering engine in favor of WebKit earlier this year: "The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need," Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie said at that time. The firm's first WebKit-based version of its Opera for Android browser followed this past March.

More than 350 million consumers worldwide access the web via Opera products each month. The company also delivers products and services to more than 120 mobile operators across the globe.

For more:
- read this release
- read this CNet article

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