If feels like only yesterday that I leaned back in this chair wondering how best to introduce you all to the ‘new’ Chromium-based web browser Vivaldi.
Thankfully I didn’t need to think too hard. The brains behind the browser made a unique play from the off, positioning Vivaldi as the choice du jour for power-users left frustrated by the tightly-controlled experiences offered elsewhere.
Five years on and the browser continues as it started: making waves. To celebrate its fifth birthday a new update to the browser is available, Vivaldi 5.0.
Vivaldi 5.0 includes a couple of interesting additions (which I’ll get to in a moment) but the real party is taking place over on Android. Vivaldi for Android 5.0 introduces something of a first: a two-tier tab bar (!).
It’s a feature Vivaldi say “no other mobile browser offers”. And if I’m honest, I kind of see why: mobile screens are cramped as it is. Putting two entire rows of tabs on show is …excessive.
But then, doing what other browser’s won’t is Vivaldi’s reason d’être, isn’t it? Options. Choices. Things you’re free to not use but are there for those who do want them.
Vivaldi 5.0 New Features
On the desktop side, Vivaldi 5.0 lets you create, customise, and share browser themes. The team say this is a “a great way to unlock limitless possibilities for expressing yourself, every day”, should you fancy it. Theming capabilities are far richer than on other browsers, and unlike Firefox 94’s recent set, these colour-ways won’t expire!
A new translate panel is also introduced in Vivaldi 5.0. It builds on the privacy-minded translation tools the browser introduced earlier this year. Ideal for those learning languages, the new panel makes it easy to auto-translate snippets of text (rather than entire page) without needing to copy/paste things into other tabs or input boxes.
A few interesting things about Vivaldi: it’s one of the few browsers to go out of its way to provide a good Linux ARM build; it now offer a mail client, word processor, and routine manager built-in; and an Ubuntu-inspired browser colour scheme (“Human”) is available out-of-the-box.
Want to try it all out?
It’s easy to install Vivaldi on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and related distros. Just download the installer from the project homepage then, after the download completes, open it in your distro’s stock package management tool.