Vivaldi Technologies, the makers of the Vivaldi web browser for computing devices, is now making a late big for the web browser space for mobile devices as well. The company has announced the release of Vivaldi browser for Android, with an integrated tracking and ad blocker. At this time, Vivaldi for Android goes into battle with Google Chrome, the new Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and the privacy-focused Brave browser. The company is betting big on a new user interface experience which they have developed for Android phones, including keeping the desktop style tabs while also integrating the Panels, Speed Dials, Notes and Capture features within easy reach. This announcement comes at a time when more people around the world are relying on their smartphones and smart devices to get work done, than ever before—and the web browser plays a very important role in that.
“As we navigate the difficult times of the pandemic together, the browser takes the center stage. The new Vivaldi, both on desktop and mobile, represents the evolving needs of today’s savvy users,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO and co-founder, Vivaldi. The company believes that screen space is important in mobile devices, because there is limited space available. The system status bar at the top can be made to disappear. They say users prefer to browse the desktop versions of websites on their browsers on smartphones, and the use of screen space is critical. There is the Speed Dial option on the start page to quickly get you to the website you intend to visit, the ability to capture screenshots of web pages, including full screen ones and the option to save text to notes from a webpage itself.
There is extensive focus on data privacy and tracking as well. The Tracker blocker is available and has three settings—off, block trackers as well as block trackers and ads. You will see a shield icon in the address bar to notify you that the tracking blocker is active. “Now more than ever, humanity needs an internet that’s well-functioning and open but also private and secure. With the new Vivaldi, users can browse with its wealth of features freely and efficiently without being tracked online,” says Tetzchner. This uses the DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar powered blocklist.
If you are using Vivaldi on the PC or Mac as well, you’d be able to get all your data such as bookmarks, passwords, autofill information and more to the smartphone as well via the integrated Sync feature.
Oh and of course, there is the Dark Mode, if that is what you prefer as an aesthetic theme.
Even though Vivaldi is making a late bid for the smartphone web browser space, it may just have come at a good time. There is a certain resentment towards the perceived lack of privacy that Google’s Chrome offers—Chrome still is the most popular web browser on smartphones, but a reason for that is also because it is preloaded on all Android phones. But the rather quick rise in popularity of Microsoft’s recently revamped Edge web browser shows there is very much an appetite for a better mobile web browsing experience, beyond Chrome.
Vivaldi is also rolling out the Vivaldi 3.0 web browser for the desktop. This includes the built-in Tracker blocker, using DuckDuckGo’s Tracker Radar-powered blocklist, which blocks what Vivaldi correctly categorizes as creepy third-party trackers while you browse the web. The desktop version also gets the ability to block unwanted ads, better privacy, faster speeds, updated keyboard-only navigation experience and more.