high speed

This is the mobile browser Apple should have made

Opera’s specialised browser for iPhone and iPad has been praised for its speed and design, and will receive a big update soon.

IF YOU HAVEN’T heard of Opera before, then it’s probably time that you start taking notice of it.

The service has more than 300 million users worldwide means it’s one of the most popular browsers out there and has earned its reputation for its data saving features.

Yet if you’re familiar with the main browser, you might not know of its iPhone and iPad exclusive browser which takes the best parts of its services and incorporates them into a great experience.

Opera Coast isn’t exactly a new app – it was originally rolled out in mid-2014 – but the app is starting to fulfil its potential by steadily adding new features and speed improvements. And with a new update on the way, it’s probably one of the nicest browser apps on iOS to date.

Opera’s VP of Product Management Jan Standal said the target for the team that built it was “the browser that Apple should have built” and it does live up to the claim.

Coast 2 Coast / App Store Coast / App Store / App Store

It’s certainly influenced by Apple’s design. Opening the browser brings you an app-like interface showing popular and bookmarked sites, tabs are designed in the same way you cycle through open apps in iOS, and when you open a web page, its logo pulsates as it loads up.

It’s a simplified interface that doesn’t distract or overwhelm you with features, and Standal said the design was influenced by how people interact with apps.

“The actual target for the team that built it was ‘The browser that Apple should have built’ so it’s a very simplistic UI (user interface), explains Standal. “One tap and you’re back again… people like applications [and it's designed] to be more like applications.”

More importantly, it incorporates the compression technology that Opera is famous for, reducing the amount of data needed to upload pages and images.

Its next update will add video compression meaning you will be able to watch videos from YouTube and similar sites even when you’re using a poor quality connection.

Coast 1 Coast / App Store Coast / App Store / App Store

All of Opera’s products allow you to reduce the amount of data needed to load a page so images and videos are compressed without any real reduction in their quality.

While it’s an iOS only service, Coast does help avoid another problem that the company has faced.

While it has many products, the main ones – Opera and Opera mini (aimed at developing markets) – tend to be interchangeable and share many similar features, leading to some confusion. That’s before you even take into consideration Opera Max, an Android-only app that helps you compress images and videos in all apps.

Standal says the aim is to separate the two main browser apps more in future, since they’re aimed towards different markets. Opera mini will also receive a major update which comes with a new look as well as new data-saving features.

While you’ll have to wait a little while longer before video compression, you can download the app here and see if it lives up to its reputation.

Quinton O’Reilly is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona all this week. Follow all the goings-on at @TheJournalTech.

Read: Sony had a pretty good reason for not releasing a flagship phone this time >

Read: There’s talk of 5G in Europe before some of us even have 3G >

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.