back to article Opera unveils iPad-only browser

Opera has released a browser designed specifically for the iPad. 'Coast' dispenses with a 'back' button, an omission Opera argues is sensible because a touch-enabled device shouldn't need one when a leftwards swipe can do the job. “Websites and apps today invite you to interact in new ways, but browser design for tablets has …


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  1. M Gale

    "an omission Opera argues is sensible because a touch-enabled device shouldn't need one when a leftwards swipe can do the job."

    Dunno about yourselves, but asides pinch to zoom, most gestures seem to cause nothing but cursing from me.

    1. LarsG

      iOS 6?

      They better get a move on because iOS 7 is already on the way.

    2. Velv Silver badge

      All going the way Douglas Adams suggested - eventually you'll need to sit extremely still just to stay on the same page. The slightest tilt and you'll be off in the weirdest direction.

      ooooooooo, can I patent that - tilt the device left or right to move backward or forward (with the obvious extension of it being configurable for those who read the other way)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "Coast is free, requires iOS 6.0 and can only be downloaded by folks aged 17 or over"

    Thank god for that, we can't have 16-year olds downloading web browsers onto iPads can we?

  3. Greg J Preece

    No tabs? No dice. Sounds like they stripped it back a bit too far if you ask me.

    1. Rafael L

      Perhaps the recent pages button works? Have you actually tried it?

  4. Ralph B

    Strip Back Further

    They should strip back further. Don't actually display the plain web contents at all. Just turn the iPad into a piece of glass by just displaying the view from the back camera. Navigate to sites by pointing the iPad at various items. Point at the TV for BBC news, and the website contents gets augmented displayed in the TV like CEEFAX. Point at your PC for The Reg, and the website contents gets augmented displayed on the PC in a simulated DOS box. Your sofa for Ikea. Your bookshelf for Amazon. Your penis for ... well, you get the idea.

    (If anyone from the Google Glass is reading this, I've just rescued your project from failure.)

    1. Callam McMillan

      Re: Strip Back Further

      With regards to the last example, I'm not sure the cameras zoom function is good enough for some users...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Could this be a statement on the average intelligence of the average iPad user

      ...that locating a "Back" button on a UI is simply too much trouble?

      Or is it more of a statement of laziness - they believe the average iPad user can't be bothered to locate & use a "Back" button?

      Sad. Simply...sad. Watching these iPad fools as they attempt to take pictures with their battery-equipped clipboards is both pathetic and silly enough and now, this.

  5. Cliff

    See it in the flesh

    The Opera guys have actually been rather innovative over the years and brought us many of the features all the other browsers adopted as standard many release cycles earlier.

    I guess in Android land we're spoiled for browsers, maybe they don't think we need a new one, or maybe it's in the pipes but they've got some Guinea pigs in camp apple.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: See it in the flesh

      I would agree but after dumping their own browser engine (At least open source it Opera and give the browsing engine a chance) it started to feel more like one of those early IE browsers (Other early browsers based on Netscape and others also available) which tries to be a better browser than IE.

  6. VinceH Silver badge


    "'Coast' dispenses with a 'back' button, an omission Opera argues is sensible because a touch-enabled device shouldn't need one when a leftwards swipe can do the job."

    A leftwards swipe? That is from the right, moving your finger towards the left? To go BACK?

    I hope that's just a cock-up by the writer of this article, and not a genuine feature of Coast.

    (Having said that, some of the iThing users I know who also have PS3s and sometimes play FPS games on them do so with the controls set up such that pulling back on the joystick looks down and pushing forward looks up, so they'd be right at home with something that arse-backwards.)

    1. M Gale

      Re: Optional

      I don't think playing FPS games with the controls arse-over-tit is unique to iThing users. It does seem popular amongst people who are stuck on consoles and have not yet found the awesomeness of the mouselook, though.

      Maybe someone should do a study. I think you'll find a correlation between control arse-backward-ness and flight sim use. And, perhaps, spectacle rim thickness.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Optional

        I'm not sure that the use of flight sims is a factor: Their logic is that they're moving the joystick in the direction they want to look/go (although, technically, they're pulling it back rather than down). I suspect if I lent them a flight sim, they would still want it to work the same way.

        I have tried to point out the reason they do it wrong using the actual controls in aircraft, as well as just pointing out to them the way their head works (you tilt it backwards to look up, forwards to look down), but still they persist.

        It's insanity. Insanity, I tell you!

        Paris, because I'll wager she knows how to handle a joystick.

  7. Tannin

    Why would anyone even want to think about downloading this one after the way they comprehensively borked the desktop Opera? What would give you any confidence that they had even a small clue about browsers when they just abandoned the best, most flexible browser UI ever invented and replaced it with a nasty second-rate clone of Chrome?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coming in an Accelerated form on Android.

    None of the forced uphill playing field that Apple impose on everything but Safari. Really how is this even Legal? didn't this form of anti-compettive behavior get Microsoft into serious hot water with Netscape a few years back?

    The Android version will use V8 javascript engine, and the latest Blink codebase, not the 7 year old unaccelerated UIWebView that Apple force everyone else to use on their platform.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Coming in an Accelerated form on Android.

      I entirely agree. But it's a security issue: Apple's internals are--from a modern perspective--badly designed and don't permit JIT, hence why we are left with unaccelerated JS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Coming in an Accelerated form on Android.

        Or that's just a smokescreen to allow them to have the uphill uncompetitive playing field.

        If I was creating unfair market, I too would claim it's dangerous for the end user if I wanted all the good stuff for myself.

  9. Trickle

    There is no decent structure for grouping bookmarks and those within a single site share the same icon. It would take me several swipes to get frm my first bookmark to the last and then crossing fingers I choose the right icon.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome on Android uses gestures to change tab, extremely irritating if all you wanted was to scroll the page left or right. Hope this works better. And yes it does sound the wrong way round

  11. Belardi

    In what way does pressing the BACK BUTTON harder than a hand movement which could be confused with another action?

    Opera on desktop has Mouse gestures... and they are a pain in the ass... really fun when typing in a long entry in a blog and all of the sudden the web page changes because of what you did with the mouse.

    Is Opera going Metro? (Think Wreck It Ralph's "Going turbo"?)

    1. James Howat

      Mouse gestures on Opera desktop are one of the most useful features it has, and the one thing I miss when switching to other browsers. And their caching (at least in their earlier version) does a really good job of re-constituting your work if you do happen to navigate accidentally.

    2. captain veg


      > all of the sudden the web page changes because of what you did with the mouse

      You mean holding down the right mouse button while swiping from right to left? I can count the number of times I've inadvertently done that on the fingers of one testicle.


      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        I love pie-menus - hold RmouseButton and swipe West (or NW, N, NE, E etc...) - in the software that uses them.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swipe to go back

    Simple single finger gestures like swipe to go back seem very bad design for a web browser unless restricted to a limited area of the screen.

    We're in the html5/webgl era where the content area is expected to host content which can be interacted with in what ever way the content author chooses.

    How can you have touch based web apps if an extremely simple drag of your finger to the left is consumed by the browser rather than the content?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Weird that Opera, of all people, are ignoring such a basic principle of UAAG...

    ....and right at the time when iOS7 is coming out full of accessibility enhancements for people who can't use touchscreens.

  14. Tom Richardson

    No tabs?

    Sod that.

  15. davemcwish


    Will be interesting to see if they sync with my opera account. Given the issues with the removal, in v15, I'm a bit disallusioned with this let's rewrite and have faster release cycle aping Firefox.

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