The Vivaldi browser, since its inception, has remained an underdog in the market. Built by one of the founders of Opera, Vivaldi is still struggling to establish a stronger foothold among mammoths such as Google Chrome. The company thinks its new 2.0 update can change that and it’s appropriately being announced at a time when Google is dealing with a controversy stemmed from a recent Chrome build.
One of the big new features is smarter browser-wide themes. Similar to other browsers, when enabled, themes on Vivaldi overhaul nearly every element including the background, toolbar, tab bars, and more. But from the 2.0 update, you have the option to schedule themes so that the browser would automatically switch between them based on the time. In addition, there are a handful of new adaptive themes as well which can tune colors on their own by dynamically adapting to the website you’re browsing at a specific moment.
With Vivaldi 2.0, the company has also added synchronization features which come in handy when you switch to a new computer or reinstall the app. The browser can restore just about everything such as notes, extensions, autofill information, and more.
Although, the feature which might end up convincing you to leave others for Vivaldi is the new multitasking sidebar. The browser now lets you pin expandable mini windows to the side. These can be anything from the bookmarks page to the tab manager to simply a website in its mobile form.
That last one is, I feel, is quite nifty since you can employ it for a multitude of purposes like chatting with a friend on Messenger while working a spreadsheet on Google Sheets, scrolling through Twitter while watching a YouTube video, you get the idea. You can even unpin these panes to turn them into floating windows.
Vivaldi 2.0 also brings a handful of new tools to supercharge its comprehensive tab management abilities. For starters, the split-screen view can be easily resizable by dragging the edges of the windows. In addition, the Tab Cycler can now show the active tabs in a list letting you go through them more quickly. A universal search has been added as well, similar to the one found on Opera through which you can execute commands or well, search the web or your own browser data. One of the intriguing additions of Vivaldi 2.0 is the revamped history page which now shows insights and statistics so that you can explore your browsing habits.
The new updates and features certainly are promising but it’s still a tad difficult imagining Vivaldi as a Chrome competitor. That’s primarily due to Chrome’s omnipresent availability and indomitable performance. That being said, there’s still room for better and more importantly, secure browsers. While Vivaldi does manage to outsmart Google Chrome as far as features are concerned, it’s still a relatively esoteric tool that the majority of users are not familiar with. Therefore, it will be interesting to see whether Vivaldi is able to rise above the shadows and put a dent in the browser industry with the 2.0 revamp.
Vivaldi 2.0 is now rolling out to everyone on the stable channel. If you don’t have it installed, you can download it from here.