If there’s one thing I love more than three by three squares (and there are few things), then it’s three by three squares used to make an exceptional browser. And Opera Coast might be the best tablet browser that’s available.
It’s design is elegant; from its home screen you can swipe left or right for another collection of bookmarks, similar to a folder of apps on iOS. If you swipe downwards from the top, it opens a search bar that has automatic suggestions under “Stuff We Like”, and its autosuggest function while in the search bar is phenomenal. This really does feel like a browser designed for a touchscreen interface, rather than one that is just ported downwards onto handheld devices. As a user that has never seen the appeal of Opera, I am happily surprised.
Unfortunately, I don’t feel like this browser will quite take the place of any of the more traditional web surfing applications, certainly not on iOS. Apple’s iCloud synchronisation between apps open on other Apple devices using your ID is too valuable a service for me to give up, even for something so beautifully designed. In this situation, ironically, Opera is taking from me the fanboy hype usually saved for Apple products – Coast is beautifully designed and intuitive while I’m sticking with my practical Safari browser.
Safari needs to step up its game, otherwise I’m going to start singing to a different tune. Opera.