If you long to hit pause on the internet and take a well-deserved breather from the latest online drama then the latest version of the Vivaldi web browser is well worth checking out.

Vivaldi 3.3 comes with a built-in “break mode” features that lets you pause the internet. We’re talking distraction-denying, stream-stopping, chat-axing here — shuttering the iris on the internet kaleidoscope.

“In order to boost health and productivity, you also need to be present outside the browser and more importantly, simply switch off,” Vivaldi co-founder Jon von Tetzchner says of the new features.

And to help users focus their attention elsewhere Vivaldi has added a ‘break mode’ feature. The feature is triggered by a button in the status bar, using a Vivaldi Quick Command, or by pressing the ctrl + . keyboard shortcut.

When activated break mode pauses and mutes HTML5 audio and videos, and hides all tabs, panels, and on-screen browser chrome to leave the app totally free of any online clutter (though it can’t hide, halt, or hinder any other apps of course).

When when ready to dial back in to the digital world folks simply “unpause” break mode. This allows everything blocked out to filter back into view so folks can literally pick up where things left off.

Is Vivaldi’s “break mode” a well-meaning gimmick or a genuinely useful productivity salve? It’s certainly less ‘destructive’ an action than, y’know, closing the window… I think I need to spend some time with it to find out if it’s any benefit — but do let me know what you think!

But break mode isn’t the only new feature in Vivaldi 3.3. Other changes include:

  • New ‘blurple’ Private Window theme
  • Cropping of the URL in the Address Bar
  • Base domain highlighting
  • Drag & Drop Speed Dials to folders
  • Tracker blocking improvements
  • Chromium 85.0.4183.84

Vivaldi is free, closed-source software available for Windows, macOS and Linux (including ARM). You’ll find installers and more details on the Vivaldi website.

Are these productivity-boosting additions enough to get you to switch to the Chromium-based browser? The team behind will certainly be hoping so, so leave your thoughts on these changes down in the comments!

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