Opera Coast: a Stripped-Down Browser Built Just for iPad

Web browsing on the iPad—or any tablet for that matter—is far too frustrating of an experience for what's really one of the device's most basic uses. Safari for iOS was designed with an iPhone in mind, so anything larger becomes an awkward mix of sweeping gestures and pointed tapping. Opera's newly launched iPad-only browser, Coast, wants to fix that.

Announced this morning at TechCrunch Disrupt, Coast is being described by Opera as "the browser that should have come with the iPad," and that means a UI stripped down to only its most essential elements. Following a recent trend towards simpler browsers, when simply displaying a web page, there will be nary a URL bar nor button in sight. Instead, swipe-based, intuitive gestures take you back and forth through web pages as you go left and right, and a swipe down reloads the page. So you get all the screen space your iPad can offer.

Of course, all those other buttons are there for a reason, so they're not totally gone—just hidden. You can bring up a bar from the bottom of the screen that lets you access tabs, more detailed searching from Google, recently opened sites, favorites, etc. While Coast is stripped down, Opera promises all of the same security measures they've become known for; you'll receive warnings about potentially dangerous sites before you access them.

Coast is available starting today, so you can download it from the App Store and take it for a test run right away. [TechCrunch]