Are you less than thrilled with the Safari browsing experience on your iPhone and iPad? If so, you may want to try one of the market alternatives, such as Opera Coast.
Designed by Opera Software, makers of products that more than 350 million people use to connect to online content and services on various devices, the Opera Coast Web browser for iPhone claims to be "perfectly designed" for Apple devices. It may be hard to imagine how anyone other than Apple could offer the perfect browser for its mobile devices, but Opera is giving it a shot.
"Like everyone who owns an iPhone, I've often picked it up when waiting for something or someone," said Huib Kleinhout, manager for the Opera Coast project at Opera Software. "I was never quite happy with how apps and browsers kind of got in the way of the content. With Opera Coast, we have made content the main star of the show, letting the browser app itself get out of the way when you just want to kill some time."
What Makes It Different?
Opera Coast isn't merely a PC browser scaled down to fit a mobile screen. The company said it considered how every image placement would fit on the iPhone -- down to the pixel level. Opera is calling it the first made-for-touch mobile browser.
Opera Coast was designed to include all screen real estate within thumb's reach. You can use gestures to do just about anything you need to do on the browser, with two extra buttons for what you can't navigate by touch.
Understanding the importance of search, Opera Coast is offering some new thinking on this front. When you start searching, the mobile Web browser serves up related search words and Web site suggestions automatically. And when you type in a Web address, the browser suggests possible sites matching what you've entered. Opera Coast also dons a "Stuff we like" feature that works to help you navigate poplar content more quickly.
Essential to Survival
Opera Coast is available for the iPad as well as the iPhone -- and you can sync the two versions. The company said if you have sites that work well on the iPad, you can sync them to your iPhone using the automatic iCloud sync of site tiles in Opera Coast.
Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, said of the new browser that there's always room for improvement with mobile technology. Opera, he noted, is clearly trying to raise the bar and make an impact with the largest unified OS user base.
"Opera sees how its entry level browsers are slowly dying. Their only growth for the Opera Mini browser is in Africa. So they have to become a very competitive product on the high end," Entner told us. "Opera has to become competitive on the iPhone, competitive on Android, and competitive on the PC and Mac. It's essential to their survival."