Coast, Opera's pretty browser for the iPad just got a few new updates that should improve your browsing experience. Unfortunately, those still looking for a URL bar or more tabs are out of luck. In addition to performance improvements, the new version of Coast will bring home screen customization, in-browser music playing and PDF reading capability.
Launched in September, Coast was designed from the ground up with a tablet user in mind, replacing familiar desktop navigation buttons such as Back and Refresh with swipe gestures. These features were already available with Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 devices. Opera also added nifty security features such as ratings and alerts for each site you visit.
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The update to Coast will let users play music directly from pages such as Soundcloud without launching an extra app. An equalizer graphic will show up in the website's icon on the home screen to indicate the page is music-capable. Grooveshark, Lastfm, YouTube and Vimeo are all supported sites.
Among other improvements, you can now more easily choose where to save content, including apps such as iBooks or Dropbox. And PDFs are now accessible, which is a welcome change. Coast users can also personalize their browser with one of eight Opera-made backgrounds or any of their own images by long-pressing on the app's home screen. Opera says it also made "under-the-hood" changes to Coast, boosting navigation speeds so that going back to the home page from an open site will happen instantly.
As we noted during our time with the first version of Coast, key features such as a URL bar, private browsing mode and support for unlimited tabs (Coast only allows up to seven open pages at a time) are still missing. Those who don't use those tools will find Opera's browser a beautiful, intuitive experience. Download or update it from the App store.