Opera is taking a stab at reinventing the browser with its new Coast app for the iPad, which forgoes a traditional button interface in favor of gestures and discrete tiles.
If Coast looks familiar, it’s probably because a video of the app, which was codenamed Opera Ice at the time, leaked out earlier this year. The home page of the app has a search bar and site-specific tiles that remember where you were browsing. The overall effect is slick, though the app does lack some features that heavy users will have come to expect.
Huib Kleinhout, the project lead for Coast, said in an interview that the team came up with the app’s design by starting from scratch. Along the way, it decided to throw out the traditional interface of back buttons, address fields and scroll bars and rely on gestures for navigation. The two buttons that made the cut are a home and a recent pages button.
“What we’ve done here is give websites more of an app feeling. It makes them feel more modern,” Kleinhout said.
Coast isn’t intended to replace Opera’s existing iPad app and will instead run parallel to it. Kleinhout highlighted it as a different project that is designed to be simple and doesn’t try to solve every problem.
Image credit: Digital Vision
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