A new version of the Vivaldi web browser has been released — and it’s even more customisable than before!
The Vivaldi 2.2 update adds a “pop out” video player feature (just like the picture-in-picture feature available in Chrome), introduces new ways to manage tabs, and — at long last! — gives you control over which buttons appear in the main browser toolbar.
With Microsoft Edge switching to Chromium in the near future Vivaldi, like other “Chrome-clone” browsers, is aware of creeping homogeny.
But Vivaldi has its own, unique take on web browsing experience with a feature set catering specifically to power users. For Vivaldi, the more control its users have over how the browser looks, runs, and behaves, the better.
Vivaldi’s Jon von Tetzchner says the update continues to put a “strong focus on customisation both in terms of functionality and interface” — key to Vivaldi’s mission statement.
Now, it’s been a while since I last used Vivaldi as my go-to browser. It’s not because the browser isn’t much good — as Chromium-based browsers go, Vivaldi is rather splendid. No, the reason is simply that Mozilla Firefox got good.
However, based on the sprawling set of improvements the Vivaldi 2.2 release brings I think it’s a decision I shall soon be be revisiting…
Vivaldi 2.2 Features
Picture-in-Picture pop out video
Watch a lot of online video? Me too, but doesn’t it get annoying when the video you want to gawp at is in one tab, and the thing you’re trying to do is in another?
Next time you go to tear a tab out to use split screen, try the new Vivaldi picture-in-picture (or ‘pop out video player’) feature.
Any time you come across a HTML5 video just right-click on it video to access a menu with a “Picture-in-Picture” option.
On some video embeds and sites (like YouTube) you may need to do a double right-click. The feature doesn’t work with Flash or other video stream formats.
Linux Netflix Support
Better late than never, Linux users can now watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other DRM-ensconced video streams in Vivaldi. The browser automatically fetches Widevine (Encrypted Media Extensions) when required, allowing you to just hit play and enjoy.
Vivaldi 2.2 lets you save groups of open tabs as a session. This feature make sit easy to save a set of pages to revisit at a later date.Tab session can be named anything you like, and you can save as many sessions as you need (and, of course, delete ones you no longer do).
To select tabs to save as a session use the Ctrl/Shift modifier to select the tabs you want, right-click on one of them (it doesn’t matter which) and choose the “Save Selected Tabs as Session” menu entry to create a Saved Session.
Speed Dial Search
It’s not difficult to search the web in Vivaldi: there’s the URL bar and search box in the toolbar, and there are built-in shortcuts.
Now there’s another way: from the speed dial.
If you use Firefox or Google Chrome you’ll be familiar with seeing a search box on the ‘new tab’ speed dial page. Vivaldi previously lacked one, now it doesn’t.
The speed dial search box uses the default search engine you have set and is enabled by default.
Since not everyone might appreciate yet-another-search-box Vivaldi (naturally) includes an option to turn it off it: head to Settings > Search to tweak.
Quick Tab Switching
You know how the Unity launcher and Ubuntu Dock let you quickly launch apps by pressing Super + 1 – 9? Well, Vivaldi 2.2 adds something similar.
“The first 9 tabs in the Window menu are numbered for quick tab-switching. Press Alt+w to open the window menu, and then simply type the number of the desired tab to make the switch,” they say.
For keyboard heavy users this sounds useful, but for a pointer-led person like me, I don’t think this is something I’ll be using often.
Do you often have multiple tabs playing audio? You do? What’s wrong with you?! Anyway, Vivaldi now has a “Mute Other Tabs” option in the tab right-click menu so that you can mute all other tabs other than the one you’re actually paying attention to.
If you don’t like the assortment of buttons on the main browser toolbar you can now remove (or add) them using the new “Customize” context menu entry, which you’ll find by right-clicking any button on the toolbar.
Download Vivaldi Web Browser
Not got Vivaldi? You can download and install Vivaldi on a host of platforms, including Windows, macOS and Linux. Heck, it’s even available for the Raspberry Pi!
Just head to the official website to grab an installer.