Vivaldi — a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by the same team behind Opera from back in the day, has undergone a series of updates and new feature rollouts ever since its launch in 2016. With close to ~1.5 million active users, the browser specifically targets the more technically-inclined users and offers a host of privacy and security features, similar to the Brave browser. Earlier this year, the company announced a new update to the browser (on desktop) and introduced a built-in tracker and ad blockers. And with that, it also brought the browser’s Android equivalent out of beta on the mobile side of things. A few months later, today, the company is now introducing Break Mode — a new feature that helps users unplug/disconnect from the internet and instead focus on other things.
Coming from Vivaldi, it might sound unusual that a company whose purpose is to get people to use the internet is offering a mode to its users to help them unplug from the internet and take breaks to focus on things that matter more. However, it’s 2020, and with the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, and the way things are reeling, this site is not that difficult to fathom after all.
Break Mode will be a part of the Vivaldi 3.3 update on the desktop. The new update will also bring along a few more features and changes, such as a new theme for private windows, the ability to set a custom theme for private windows, and the option to identify legitimate or malicious web pages by inspecting their URLs. In addition, it will also introduce some new rules to improve security.
Talking about Break Mode, the feature builds on the premise that users need to cut down on their online activity and focus more on the offline world to take care of their health and be more productive. Since due to the work-from-home situation because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming difficult to draw a distinction between personal and professional time. And, therefore, the feature.
Break Mode can be enabled with the press of a button located at the left corner of the browser status bar. When enabled, the feature stops all the HTML5 content (audio and video) and hides away browser tabs, panels, and other content, to offer a clear, blank screen. Doing so allows users to take breaks to limit their social media addiction and focus on other things rather than staying glued to the screen. When done with the break, users can then head back and resume their activity where they left off by simply pressing the unpause button on the browser.
As already mentioned, the Break Mode also accompanies a few other features and improvements on the new Vivaldi update. One such is the ability to add new themes for private windows. Essentially, the functionality allows users to choose from a total of 8 pre-defined themes for the private window, which they can even schedule per their preferred time. To add to that, as part of the functionality, users can also create their own custom themes.
Besides Break Mode, which is the highlight of the new update, and the ability to add new themes for private windows, another feature worth pondering upon is the base domain highlighting that adds to the browser’s existing privacy and security prowess and allows users to identify malicious or legitimate web pages by highlighting their base domain (eTLD+1) in the URL. [eTLD is the effective top-level domain, whereas eTLD+1 is eTLD and the domain preceding it]. With the new feature, the browser will highlight the core part (domain) in a URL while lowlighting the rest of the URL to offer users a clear glimpse of the sites they visit.
Lastly, the new Vivaldi update also brings along another URL functionality, wherein users can now click on specific parts of the URL to move between different destinations/directories on a website. For this, the browser will highlight the clickable parts in the URL, and users can then hold the ctrl (or command) key and click on the highlighted part to navigate the site.