April 26, 2014 Networked Designs

Open Coast Web Browser: A Different Way to Surf the Web

Tired of the same old mobile web browser experience? Find it difficult to navigate the great world wide web on your smart phone or tablet? Hoping that someone will create an easy, fun, and innovative web browser that can turn your frown upside down?

Well, the Open Coast Web Browser from Opera may be the answer to your prayers. The Open Coast Web Browser takes an innovative approach to smart phone and tablet internet browsing that is definitely notable, and, in our eyes, is certainly worth giving a test run. Here is a quick overview of the browser’s features, along with comments about our experience using them.

The Home Screen

In contrast to most other web browsers, the home screen of the Open Coast Web Browser doesn’t have a typical address bar, or any of the other normal features most people have come to expect with internet browsers (e.g. navigation arrows, bookmarking tab, sharing tabs, etc.). Instead, the home screen is more similar to the home screen of most smart phones and tablets; it has rows of icons, which link to various websites.

As with the home screens of most smart phones and tablets, users can swipe through multiple pages of these “quick links” to websites. In a nutshell, the Open Coast Web Browser home screen is a compilation of shortcut links to the popular and well known websites among consumers. On a side note, a user can easily customize the home screen however he or she wants.

Open Coast Homescreen Image

The Address Bar

The address bar is completely hidden on the home screen. When you want to search for a website, all you have to do is hit the “search the web” link above the website shortcut icons, and then type in what you want to search; it can be an actual url, the name of a brand/website, or a general search term. As you type, various logos/site suggestions related to the search term(s) you are typing appear above the input area, making it easy to access the desired website if it pops up.

 

Open Coast Search Image

The Browser

In our opinion, one the best features of the Open Coast Web Browser is the browser space you get on each website. In contrast to the default browsers on most smart phones and tablets, which typically have a small url bar at the top with navigation and bookmarking buttons at the bottom, the Open Coast Web Browser doesn’t display any of that stuff when viewing a webpage.

In fact, all the Open Coast browser has is a tiny home button and page navigation button at the bottom of each webpage. While it may not seem like that big of a deal, the extra screen space you get without the normal navigation, bookmarking, and url features, goes a long way towards creating a better web surfing experience, especially on smart phones, where screen space is already at a premium.

Open Coast Full Screen Image

The Conclusion

Overall, the Open Coast Web Browser is a simple, fast, and innovative alternative to the typical smart phone and tablet web browsing experience. While it may take a little time to get acquainted with the user interface, the similarities it has to most operating system home screens should make the transition fairly smooth and intuitive. In conclusion, the Open Coast Web Browser is definitely worth trying out. Who knows, you may get hooked, and never look back!

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