Yet, here we are, moving quickly into the 21st century, and someone who should know better thinks there’s room for just one more browser. Most browsers, Mac, PC, iOS, or Android– are one of these: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari. And, Opera. And, speaking of Opera…
Opera is the last browser in the top five, and though marketshare is low, it’s a browser beloved and used by a few hundred million people on planet earth. One of the guys who once ran Opera decided the world needed yet another browser and came up with Vivaldi for Mac and Windows.
Alright, Vivaldi is a browser that works much like the major browsers on Macs or PCs. It features tabs, sidebar bookmarks, customizable color schemes which adapt as you browse the web, and a uniquely modular approach to the visual layout.
You can move the browser tabs where you want (mostly; top, bottom, or sides). Move the URL address bar location, too. You’re in control of keyboard shortcuts, and on the Mac, mouse and trackpad gestures for navigation. Make Vivaldi look like other browsers, or completely different.
Another feature I like and would love to see in Chrome or Safari is Vivaldi’s Tab Stacks. Think of typical browser window tabs, but with sub-tabs so a single browser window can hold even more website pages, each one a click or two away.
For Mac users with large, wide screens, Vivaldi has a page tiling feature so you can have two web pages side-by-side in the same browser window (or, stacked one on top of the other). Color me crazy but Vivaldi’s built-in Notes panel is pretty cool; an easy way to jot down a note and save a screenshot of a website or webpage.
Along with notes Vivaldi sports customizable keyboard shortcuts and a bit of hubris.
Actually, more than a bit. First, anyone trying to make a small fortune in the browser business where the top dog browsers are all free needs to start with a large fortune.
Second, there might be a reason why major browsers don’t do email anymore, but that’s what Vivaldi wants to include in a future update. I think someone forgot why the road less traveled is, well, less traveled.
Finally, there’s a bit of hubris in announcing that Vivaldi synchronizes browser bookmarks between devices, including history, passwords, and settings with the Always In Sync* feature.
*Sync is coming soon.
Still, Vivaldi, even in a preview version, is fast and stable and easy on the eyes. The customization features are handy (why does every major browser have exactly the same visual layout?), notes are cool, and stackable browser tabs are efficient and useful. And, Vivaldi is free, which brings me to my final concern, and that’s the business model. If I’m going to commit to an affair with Vivaldi then I’d like some assurance that the browser will be around in a few years. And, while we’re dreaming of syncing up between devices, how about a Vivaldi for iPhone and iPad?