On Monday, Opera released a new tablet browser redesigned from the ground up that blurs the lines between app and Web.
Coast, as the browser is called, is an attempt by Opera to mimic the nativity of iOS and bring that to the Web browsing experience. The result is a Web browser that basically acts and feels like a cross between iOS and the old WebOS platform.
By stripping away the buttons and menu of most conventional Web browsers, Coast brings pages front and center; each Web page takes the stage to be treated more like an app than a Web site. The use of Pins makes navigating Coast "Inception"-esque -- think an OS within an OS. The structuring of opened pages into cards is reminiscent of the now-defunct WebOS. Swiping left and right lets you go back a page or forward. Flicking up in card view closes the site. By far the most impressive feature is the fluid response of the browser. Pages load almost instantly and the process of moving between sites offers the perception of flipping through a magazine. As Web designers move forward with making more intricately responsive pages, it's a welcome sight to see this browser company reacting to greet the movement.
Opera also backs up this new, minimal Web experience with a background security process that analyzes a site's reputation and warns you of any suspicious sites.
Currently, Coast is only available for the iPad. You can grab it here: