Coast by Opera reinvents the browser for iPad with gesture and icon controlled interface

The Opera Coast app aims to streamline the browsing experience. It's not here to replace Opera but to run alongside it. Websites are treated less as pages and more as apps.

Opera went back to the drawing board to create this UI from scratch. Buttons such as back and forward have been dumped in favour of gesture controls - ideally suited to the iPad. One button takes you to the home screen while another shows sites you've recently visited. Everything else is swipe friendly for maximum screen use on the iPad.

When you tap an icon, which represents a site, Coast shows a splash screen while it’s loading and then takes you to wherever you were the last time you visited that site. Sites are displayed nearly full-screen, and you swipe to move forward and backward. Instead of opening up pages into tabs, you can swipe through cards showing images of recent sites like multitasking on Apple’s upcoming iOS 7.

"I have a background in user experience and am in love with the thoroughly refined iPad, and we wanted to design an app targeting the devices of the future, not the past,” says Huib Kleinhout, head of the Coast project at Opera Software. "Old conventions are out with Coast: there is no URL field at the top of the screen, no back or forward buttons, no tabs and no bookmarks. Yet, it all flows naturally and blends into the use of the iPad".

Coast by Opera is available now in the App Store to download for free. Let us know what you think on Twitter.