Software

Version 2.0 brings Vivaldi web browser inline with the competition

The latest release Vivaldi 2.0 offers a few must-have features for modern browsers.

vivaldihero.jpg
Image: Vivaldi

You may or you may not have ever heard of the Vivaldi web browser. To sum it up, developers from the Opera web browser jumped ship and created a new product. That product is Vivaldi. To date, Vivaldi has mostly settled for a small base of fans who, for the most part, used the browser because it wasn't Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Internet Explorer. However, it turns out the "little browser that could" was actually as good as (if not better than) some of the competition. All along, Vivaldi was a solid entry in the web browser space and, despite missing some crucial and modern features, the browser continued on, unabated.

That was then ... this is 2.0.

Wow. What a difference a major release can make.

With the latest release of the Vivaldi browser, the competition might want to think twice about shrugging off the "little browser that could," because it's now become the "little browser that can."

SEE: Software automation policy guidelines (Tech Pro Research)

All about the speed

Vivaldi 2.0 offers new features and some serious speed; speed that not even the biggest players can compete with. That's right, Vivaldi 2.0 renders as quickly as any browser on the market (if not faster). Granted I'm not talking benchmarks, but real-world usage. Comparing Vivaldi 2.0 to my default Firefox web browser, page text loads at an almost identical speed, but images appear noticeably faster on Vivaldi. Granted, the difference in speed is negligible, when you're working on an internet connection that's pushing over 100 Mb/s. However, when you're loading page after page, throughout the day, that difference adds up.

But if speed isn't your thing, what about features? As I mentioned, the developers of Vivaldi added a few must-have features for modern browsers. Let's take a look at a few such features.

Vivaldi Sync

Vivaldi Sync is a big one. For anyone that uses the same browser on multiple machines, it is imperative that the browser has the ability to sync between each. With the release of 2.0, Vivaldi now enjoys such a feature.

The feature is easy to set up. You need a Vivaldi Sync account. You will be prompted to set this up during the installation of 2.0. If you miss it, however, you can always click on the "V" menu in the top left corner and click Tools | Settings. In the resulting window, click the Sync entry in the left navigation (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Sync options page.


If you see a Login button, click that, and login with your Vivaldi Sync credentials. You can optionally set an encryption password for your data. I highly recommend doing that and using a password that is different than your Vivaldi Sync password. In fact, this is a great time to employ a password manager.

The developers have done every user a huge favor. At the bottom of the Sync settings window, there's a button marked Clear Data on Server. Should you ever grow concerned about leaving your data on the Vivaldi servers, or you plan on uninstalling the browser, make sure to go click that button to delete all of your synced data.

Tabs 2.0

Vivaldi has a new feature, called "Tab Tiling." Split screen tab viewing is the norm for many browsers. Vivaldi takes this feature one step further by allowing users to resize tab tiles to perfectly suit their viewing experience. However, using tab tiles is a bit different than it is on other browsers. In fact, it's a bit tricky.

The first thing to do is click and drag one tab onto another. You must be careful with this move because if you move it too far, the tab being moved will relocate on the tab bar. When adding a tab as a tile, you'll see the target tab color darken slightly (Figure B). Once you see that color change, release the moving tab, and it will be added as a tile.

Figure B

Figure B

Adding a tab as a tile.


You should now see the two tabs side by side. If you right-click the tiled tabs (in the tab bar), the context menu changes to include various Stacks entries (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The new right-click context menu.

If you click on the divider between the tab pages, you can resize them to perfectly fit your needs. This size will be remembered, even after closing and reopening the browser.

Website suggestions

If you're a fan of the Speed Dial and/or Web Panels features (and who isn't?), you might enjoy the freshly added Speed Dial and Web Panel Suggestions. When you go to add a new site to the speed dial or a new Web Panel, you'll find that Vivaldi offers suggestions, based on your browsing history (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Web Panel suggestions on the top and Speed Dial at the bottom.

Much, much more

Vivaldi 2.0 brings about a number of new features. To find out about every new addition to this browser, check out the official changelog for 2.0.

If you need a reason to try this browser, the addition of Vivaldi Sync should pique your interest. To those who have already adopted Vivaldi as their browser, enjoy that fresh new smell of making a smart choice.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox