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MacRumors
Sep 9, 2013, 09:20 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/09/opera-releases-new-webkit-based-browser-coast/)


Norwegian software company Opera Software ASA has released (http://business.opera.com/press/releases/devices/2013-09-09) a brand-new WebKit-based browser named Coast (http://coastbyopera.com) for the iPad. The browser, which comes with the tagline "the browser that should have come with the iPad", is the product of one and a half years of software development at the company's headquarters in Oslo.


Coast*is Opera's attempt to build a browser actually optimized for a touchscreen interface, such as the one on the iPad, and dispenses away with the traditional toolbar seen in most internet browsers. Instead, users swipe back and forth to navigate between pages and, in order to keep the interface as clean as possible and to help users focus on the web page they are currently viewing, the URL box is missing. There are no tabs for individual pages; users can switch back and forth using thumbnails, much like switching applications in iOS 7, and close down pages by swiping upwards.The iPad is nearly buttonless; why shouldn't the apps for it be? Elements such as back and forward buttons are gone from Coast. All navigation is done by swiping the way you naturally would on an iPad - just like in a good iPad app. A single button takes you to the home screen, and another shows the sites you have recently visited - that's about it for buttons in Coast.

When using touch-based navigation, small buttons that work on a regular computer don't work well on a tablet. It's not about just enlarging already existing elements; it's about making the design interesting and uncluttered.

Essentials such as website security are handled in the background, with can't-miss warnings when a suspicious site is accessed and extensive info on site reputation.http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/09/2013-09-09-15.02.07.png
The home screen of*Coast*displays a number of common websites, such as YouTube, Google+ and Vice, which can be shuffled around and deleted if necessary. Commonly-viewed pages will also start appearing over time. Unlike Opera's previous browser, Opera Mini (http://www.opera.com/tablet/ipad),*Coast*now relies on WebKit, the default engine built into iOS to render pages, rather than its own. The project is simply an attempt by Opera to try and redesign the browsing experience on a tablet device, and the company plans to release it to the iPhone and other devices such as Android soon.

Coast is a free download (http://www.appshopper.com/lifestyle/coast-by-opera) from the App Store and is currently only available on the iPad. [Direct Link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id674024845?mt=8)]

Article Link: Opera Releases New WebKit-Based Browser 'Coast' (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/09/opera-releases-new-webkit-based-browser-coast/)



Michaelgtrusa
Sep 9, 2013, 09:21 AM
I hope that this will inspire the Mac version. Looks good.

Tankmaze
Sep 9, 2013, 09:35 AM
wooahhhh, now THIS is GOOD. this is what safari on iOS 7 should be.
opera got a lot of smart people working there.

Dustman
Sep 9, 2013, 09:35 AM
Just curious, does this run at full speed as it should? Or is Apple still crippling third party browsers to keep Safari "ahead".

cclloyd
Sep 9, 2013, 09:37 AM
The iPad is nearly buttonless; why shouldn’t the apps for it be?

It's buttonless so you can put your own buttons on how you want, where you want. Not so there are no buttons.

redscull
Sep 9, 2013, 09:37 AM
This is much closer to the way mobile browsers should have always worked. The desktop-inspired, tabbed holdovers are terrible. Google Chrome for iPhone (but specifically not the iPad version) is the best mobile browser on iOS right now. And finally, with this Opera Coast, we have a proper iPad browser.

I really hope the new iOS 7 Safari (which I myself have not tried) understands and does the kind of stuff that iPhone Chrome and iPad Coast are doing. This is good user interface design, something Apple hasn't really made progress on in quite a few years.

vladobizik
Sep 9, 2013, 09:39 AM
Wow, this is amazing, just after a few minutes of trying it out, I am astonished. This is what a true mobile touch browser should work like. This is the first time I wish iOS offered you the option to change the default browser. We'll see how well it works out for me over time.

FelixAng
Sep 9, 2013, 09:48 AM
Best browser I've tried. I have to unlearn some annoying habits from the "common" browser, but it'll be worth it because this is flat out awesome.

blackcrayon
Sep 9, 2013, 09:56 AM
Just curious, does this run at full speed as it should? Or is Apple still crippling third party browsers to keep Safari "ahead".

3rd party UIWebview browsers still don't have access to the higher speed javacript engine that Safari can access. A lot of that you won't notice unless you're running a suite of javascript benchmarks or some page that totally relies on javascript to do everything.

But starting with iOS 6 Apple has at least allowed pages to render in a background thread- so the scrolling is smooth. As iOS devices get faster and faster, absolute page rendering speed seems to become less important. If the browser is good, who cares if it takes 4 seconds to render a page instead of 3.7.

Technarchy
Sep 9, 2013, 09:59 AM
Looks good. I'll try it out later today.

braintumor
Sep 9, 2013, 10:07 AM
Wow... First time I prefer to use an alternative browser over Safari... Its really intuitive, quick to use and you immediately feel that this should be how a tablet browser should really look like!

Great job Opera!

Just curious, why doesn't Opera make this their default browser for touch devices instead of offering this next to "old" Opera browser with a different name?

NameUndecided
Sep 9, 2013, 10:20 AM
Wooah. It's pretty crazy that I've been using iCab browser pretty happily for like the year and a half I've had an iPad (full screen browsing, customizable gestures and other fun stuff), and then this feels like a totally valid replacement within less than a minute of use.

Jamieserg
Sep 9, 2013, 10:26 AM
All we need now is apple to offer a way to set an alternative default browser. Until that happens it's a little inconvenient to use a different browser.

Rafagon
Sep 9, 2013, 10:45 AM
I had forgotten about the existence of Opera.

err404
Sep 9, 2013, 10:48 AM
Just curious, does this run at full speed as it should? Or is Apple still crippling third party browsers to keep Safari "ahead".
For the record Apples high speed JavaScript engine is a bit of a hack. It requires access to RAM in a way that leaves the OS exposed to malicious code. Safari is a trusted app that can use the API in a tightly controlled maner to limit this risk.
Adding the process isolation overhead to the code in order to make it suitable for third party developers would likely eliminate much of the performance advantage. So in reality there is little advantage for third party apps to want access to use it over the engine they already have access to.

Cougarcat
Sep 9, 2013, 10:53 AM
All we need now is apple to offer a way to set an alternative default browser. Until that happens it's a little inconvenient to use a different browser.

The other problem is I like iCloud tabs too much. It would be great if the default browser could sync your tabs with Safari on the Mac.

anubis72
Sep 9, 2013, 10:57 AM
[Stands up, clapping excitedly!]

Ryth
Sep 9, 2013, 11:03 AM
Bought by Apple in 3....2....1

wizard
Sep 9, 2013, 11:11 AM
If the browser is good, who cares if it takes 4 seconds to render a page instead of 3.7.

Raising my hand here! I for one find Safari very frustrating in this regard. Especially when we get a partial rendering and then Safari repairs the whole screen sometime several time. All the while you are trying to use the web page only to have the rug pulled out from beneath you.

The reality is a half second or even a second is a long time.

olowott
Sep 9, 2013, 11:43 AM
Like the idea
Thats really impressive.
Give it a try:cool:

ArtOfWarfare
Sep 9, 2013, 11:51 AM
Is this available on iPhone? With all the praise the other commenters are heaping on it, I feel like I should give it a go. I had been working on my own browser using some similar concepts. I'm totally willing to steal a few of their ideas into my own browser.

Zyphras
Sep 9, 2013, 11:53 AM
Opera is one of those things that I always try to feel nice about, out of sympathy.

Michael Goff
Sep 9, 2013, 12:04 PM
Is this available on iPhone? With all the praise the other commenters are heaping on it, I feel like I should give it a go. I had been working on my own browser using some similar concepts. I'm totally willing to steal a few of their ideas into my own browser.

Nope, this is an iPad browser.

nagromme
Sep 9, 2013, 12:07 PM
More WebKit compatibility--good.

More choice in browser UI--good!

No setting for iOS default browser... needs some work, Apple!

For the record Apples high speed JavaScript engine is a bit of a hack. It requires access to RAM in a way that leaves the OS exposed to malicious code. Safari is a trusted app that can use the API in a tightly controlled maner to limit this risk.
Adding the process isolation overhead to the code in order to make it suitable for third party developers would likely eliminate much of the performance advantage. So in reality there is little advantage for third party apps to want access to use it over the engine they already have access to.

Never inject facts and reason when Apple-is-evil soundbites will do :p

Michael Goff
Sep 9, 2013, 12:18 PM
For the record Apples high speed JavaScript engine is a bit of a hack. It requires access to RAM in a way that leaves the OS exposed to malicious code. Safari is a trusted app that can use the API in a tightly controlled maner to limit this risk.
Adding the process isolation overhead to the code in order to make it suitable for third party developers would likely eliminate much of the performance advantage. So in reality there is little advantage for third party apps to want access to use it over the engine they already have access to.

And this is what happens when you put anemic levels of RAM in your devices...

redscull
Sep 9, 2013, 01:12 PM
And this is what happens when you put anemic levels of RAM in your devices...
That's not quite the right conclusion to walk away with. An iPhone could have a terabyte of RAM, and the "trick" that iOS uses to boost javascript performance in Safari would still be just as beneficial.

In any computer, the amount of RAM and the performance of the system are completely unrelated until you reach the point where the system needs more RAM. Extra [unused] RAM doesn't do anything (which is why modern OSes have started trying to make use of unused RAM by leaving stuff cached in it).

835153
Sep 9, 2013, 01:27 PM
Spent 20 seconds with it... Wow! :eek:

Its a pleasure to use. No fumbling about with tiny buttons and tabs etc.

Michael Goff
Sep 9, 2013, 01:28 PM
That's not quite the right conclusion to walk away with. An iPhone could have a terabyte of RAM, and the "trick" that iOS uses to boost javascript performance in Safari would still be just as beneficial.

In any computer, the amount of RAM and the performance of the system are completely unrelated until you reach the point where the system needs more RAM. Extra [unused] RAM doesn't do anything (which is why modern OSes have started trying to make use of unused RAM by leaving stuff cached in it).

Would the trick really be needed, though, if Apple gave the devices sufficient RAM?

redscull
Sep 9, 2013, 02:20 PM
Would the trick really be needed, though, if Apple gave the devices sufficient RAM?The "trick" would always enable Safari to render javascripted web pages a little faster than 3rd party browsers regardless of hardware improvements. But as someone else said, as raw CPU/GPU power improves, there is less need for this extra bonus.

I myself am a web developer with a pretty heavy dependency on javascript (or I think so; maybe my definition of "heavy" is not in fact all that much), and I don't even notice a difference between running my code in Safari vs. say this new browser. I haven't done a technical benchmark to see if Safari renders it faster, but that isn't important. If a user doesn't perceive a difference, the difference isn't relevant.

Michael Goff
Sep 9, 2013, 02:47 PM
The "trick" would always enable Safari to render javascripted web pages a little faster than 3rd party browsers regardless of hardware improvements. But as someone else said, as raw CPU/GPU power improves, there is less need for this extra bonus.

I myself am a web developer with a pretty heavy dependency on javascript (or I think so; maybe my definition of "heavy" is not in fact all that much), and I don't even notice a difference between running my code in Safari vs. say this new browser. I haven't done a technical benchmark to see if Safari renders it faster, but that isn't important. If a user doesn't perceive a difference, the difference isn't relevant.

Ah, alright.

I just read the part about it being a hack that is a security problem and... well, mostly I wondered why the *buy some apples* they would be doing that in the first place.

Tysknaden
Sep 9, 2013, 02:49 PM
Really nice stuff! Elegant, ergonomic, beautiful! Ive should have a look at this! Maybe it can teach him a few important things?

Pakaku
Sep 9, 2013, 03:16 PM
It sounded good until seeing the iOS 6 requirement...

beautifulcoder
Sep 9, 2013, 03:31 PM
I love Opera but does it handle tens of tabs well? Safari is wretched in this regard.

macs4nw
Sep 9, 2013, 05:14 PM
Bought by Apple in 3....2....1

Couldn't find their net worth, but they had 2012 revenue of US$216 million, with a net income of US$17 million.
With Opera's sizeable software talent pool, Apple has probably checked them out as a potential take-over target.

philosopherdog
Sep 9, 2013, 05:59 PM
Opera is rising to the challenge. Their new WebKit desktop browser I bet will be quite innovative.

fhall1
Sep 9, 2013, 08:14 PM
It won't open www.protopage.com, I just get a white screen. Can't see where to look for any settings adjustments. No help screen or any help on their website...so far a fail for me...staying with iCab.

doug in albq
Sep 9, 2013, 08:59 PM
A functionally-limited wrapper for WebKit, with a terrible app icon. I do not understand all the love for this browser from the majority of the previous posts.

zbarvian
Sep 9, 2013, 10:45 PM
A functionally-limited wrapper for WebKit, with a terrible app icon. I do not understand all the love for this browser from the majority of the previous posts.

It's about the UI...

subsonix
Sep 10, 2013, 06:02 AM
I really hope the new iOS 7 Safari (which I myself have not tried) understands and does the kind of stuff that iPhone Chrome and iPad Coast are doing. This is good user interface design, something Apple hasn't really made progress on in quite a few years.

The UI is basically identical to the iOS home screen, including page indicators and "wiggling" icons if you keep pressing, to rearrange or delete them.

redscull
Sep 10, 2013, 08:53 AM
The UI is basically identical to the iOS home screen, including page indicators and "wiggling" icons if you keep pressing, to rearrange or delete them.

Well, I didn't mean to imply it was unobvious or brand new. Heck, I have touch web browser design docs that I spec'd out over a year ago which are very similar to what Coast did. I just lacked the time and manpower to build a web browser. But Coast didn't just copy iOS desktop; they blended in some of Android's better features and then added some very nice polish of their own. That's the best kind of innovation. Fix up what's good, and then take it that next step.

Sure, Apple did some good UI design with their iOS in general.. six years ago. They never bothered taking the new patterns from the iOS to all the apps. They just stagnated. Copied desktop design paradigms in some apps, especially Safari. They didn't evolve anything either. Other app makers had to establish the new, superior menu system (slide in from left and right instead of an antiquated toolbar). Android had to demonstrate what a proper notification center might be like and how fast app switching should work. Etc.

I don't know everything iOS 7 has, and I really hope it does more than just copy the basic functionality from Android and prominent apps that iOS should have had a long time ago. But the sterile, flat icons taint anything it accomplishes. Human beings are instinctually wired to want to touch textures and things familiar to them. Shiny and smooth are associated with rocks and metal, hard surfaces, often hot or cold and sharp. iOS 7 looks like a clinic, or a museum; it's not exactly ugly, but it sends a very clear message: do not touch. This fundamental piece of user experience design has somehow been lost on Apple.

scottwaugh
Sep 10, 2013, 09:07 AM
Opera is rising to the challenge. Their new WebKit desktop browser I bet will be quite innovative.

I've played with it some (this is the desktop Opera browser based on Webkit after Opera abandoned their own engine Presto) as I used Opera previously. It's basically a gutted version of Chrome - doesn't even have bookmarks integrated at this point. Most Opera desktop users are using the last Presto version 12.16, which can still be downloaded from their site and has tons of power user features. IMHO, Opera should have kept Presto going (stopping functionality updates) until their Webkit engine based version reaches feature parity, then switched over.

I love Opera but does it handle tens of tabs well? Safari is wretched in this regard.

You'll have to try it yourself. I'm quite impressed and love the UI action. For tabs you touch the tabs area in the bottom right, your current site shrinks just a little and then you can scroll through the pages visually with a flick of your finger.

It needs a way to handle large bookmarks separately from its "top sites page", which is all it has at this point (you basically put together your own Top Sites page ala Safari for your active pages you hit all the time - very easily by the way).

I really like it, its very nice to use - feels much more integrated into the iPad touch UI than little back and forth buttons etc.. The group that did it at Opera, did a wonderful job.

northernmunky
Sep 10, 2013, 09:17 AM
Nice, but is the new iOS7 Safari about to kill it?

JonyIve
Sep 10, 2013, 09:41 AM
Really nice stuff! Elegant, ergonomic, beautiful! Ive should have a look at this! Maybe it can teach him a few important things?

Not bad. Perhaps I will use it in iOS 8.

dxstewart
Sep 10, 2013, 09:50 AM
I tried it out last night... pretty cool. I like the swiping to go back, reminds me of using my MPB and its trackpad. I like also how when you search, it's trying to find what you're looking for (suggestions I suppose).

subsonix
Sep 10, 2013, 10:52 AM
Sure, Apple did some good UI design with their iOS in general.. six years ago. They never bothered taking the new patterns from the iOS to all the apps.


You seem to be missing that what you find innovative, is lifted from iOS here. That makes your previous comment a bit ironic. Besides that, Apple's implementation is better. For example, using a red circle on the icon itself to delete. Also, not all patterns fit in all contexts.

gmcalpin
Sep 10, 2013, 10:57 AM
Nice, but is the new iOS7 Safari about to kill it?
Nah. I'm running the beta and its Safari is great, but Coast is pretty slick, too. I like it a lot. I think it'll come down to whether you like the interface or not.

scottwaugh
Sep 10, 2013, 11:25 AM
Not bad. Perhaps I will use it in iOS 8.

Nice to hear Jony. :rolleyes: