Opera has finally launched its browser for the iPad, and it might be the simplest iPad browser you’ll ever use.
Dubbed the Opera Coast, this iPad browser has a very minimalist design, built atop the WebKit rendering engine baked into iOS. Featuring the search/address bar up top, the websites are treated like an app, similar to Chrome’s browser format, and you won’t see buttons for going forward or backwards, as everything is swipe-able.
On the upside, you won’t have to learn a new UI in using Coast, as it makes use of the iOS UI. Web sites are positioned like apps on the screen, and moving them around is as simple as holding down an icon until it wiggles, so you can either delete or move it. The search/address bar lets you get to your destination directly, or via Google to view more results. And instead of having tabs for multiple sites, the sites are represented in small windows so you can easily swipe from left to right to see recently viewed sites.
Mobile browser security
Opera Coast was leaked back in January, and people were expecting it to come out soon after, but obviously it didn’t. It was mentioned then that the browser would hide unnecessary technology from users’ experience, and the reports were right. Everything “extra” is tucked neatly away from sight, but that doesn’t mean Opera doesn’t care about the user’s security. When you visit a questionable site, Coast will tell you that it’s untrusted, and advise you not to continue.
“On a tablet, browsers felt outdated, and that bothered me,” Huib Kleinhout, the head of the Coast project at Opera, said in a statement. “Why? Because we make browsers for a living. We’re passionate about making the internet better.”
But how does it compare with other iPad browsers?
Opera Coast vs. Chrome, Safari and Dolphin
The interface is much like that of the web version. Just sign in using your Google account to access all your bookmarks, most visited pages and settings, on your iPad. You can open unlimited tabs, and if you don’t want anyone seeing your activities, you can use the incognito mode so your browsing history cannot be accessed by anyone. But it’s not as touch-based as Safari and Opera Coast.
If you’re a person who likes sharing a lot of information with others, such a recipe you read on a particular site, a car for sale, or you read something funny and you just want to share it with everyone, then Dolphin Browser is for you. It has One-tap Share for your social sharing needs, Dolphin Connect so you can sync your mobile Dolphin activities to the Dolphin browser on your computer, the ability to create gesture shortcuts for your most visited sites, and the left side is dedicated to bookmarked sites so everything is easily accessible.
This iPad browser features 11 themes, downloading and saving to Dropbox, printing, full screen browsing, file-sharing, adblock, tabs, multi touch gestures, user agent switcher, private browsing, passcode lock, save page, and Facebook/Twitter integration among many other perks.
This browser leverages the iPad’s touch and gesture controls, and allows you to switch to previous tab by swiping two fingers to the left, next tab by using two fingers to the right, previous page by using two fingers to swipe up, go to the top of the page by tapping two fingers on the top part of the screen or tap at the bottom part to go to the bottom part of the page, while tapping in the center opens up the Control Panel. And if you use three fingers to tap in the screen, it closes the tab.
Still, most browsers made for the iPad doesn’t perform as smoothly as Apple’s own Safari, since Apple isn’t quite willing to share all its technology with potential rivals.
But aside from that, it has security features such as Private Browsing, plus encryption that keeps your private information safe from cross-site scripting, phishing, and malware attacks. It syncs with iCloud so all your searches on the iPad, iPhone, Mac, iPod Touch are accessible on any of them. And the best part about this mobile browser is that you can choose to block ads by choosing the Reader feature. The articles are shown in their full glory without the distracting ads.