Opera Coast Is a Brand-New Approach to the Mobile Browser
Software maker Opera has completely overhauled the concept of a Web browser. Its uncluttered Coast presents links as applike icons.Smartphone users are increasingly turning to mobile apps for the information they want—in 2013, 80 percent of the time users spent on their smartphones was in apps, according to Super Monitoring. Software maker Opera, in tune to this preference, has created a mobile browser that's unlike anything from Google or Microsoft, as it presents Websites not as unsightly links but as applike icons. Opera Coast opens to a clean, blank background with square-shaped icons. (Blank isn't necessary—users can customize the wallpaper, just as they would the background behind their phone's apps.) Users swipe down on the screen to initiate a search—and even this feels better, and improved. Instead of a small box at the top, the search takes place center-screen, with large white letters on a black display for easy viewing. As you type, the browser guesses at what you'd like and quickly presents options as you go—again, not offering long, unruly links, but Website options displayed as square icons. Click on an icon, and that site is launched. Swiping to the right takes you back and collapses the site back into a tidy box. The last site you viewed stays at the bottom of the screen; if it's a site you visit often, you can swipe it up into a lineup of icons, presented for easy access, or swipe it to the trash. If you keep it, the next time you open it, it will be refreshed.
In addition to doing away with tabs and open windows and other clutter, Coast makes it simple to idly discover new sites, thanks to a Stuff We Like bar, also available by pulling down on the page. (It shows up above where your typing shows up, before you start typing.)