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article imageNew Vivaldi 'smart' browser features home automation integration Special

By Claudio Buttice     Nov 22, 2016 in Technology
Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner announced the latest version 1.5 of his web browser Vivaldi, a niche product that has been met with highly positive reception since its release.
Originally aimed at the many former Opera users who never took the transition to the Blink layout engine lightly, Vivaldi is an innovative and highly customizable freeware web browser that mostly aims at appealing niche market of web geeks rather than the vast majority of the public. The software engineers at Vivaldi Technologies decided to take one step further and just published a new version 1.5 that provides many browsing enhancements, including the ability to alter smart-home lighting levels and additional options for full personalization.
In a market that seems to be so utterly dominated by just a few giants (Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari), Vivaldi shows a lot of attitude since it's currently struggling to get out from the 0.3 percent market share in which it is confined. However, the new improvements of the current 1.5 version seem to promise a lot, and the idea of an (albeit limited) partnership with Philips to bring domotics to the table clearly show us that its creator's ambition is not going to be stopped by these numbers.
In an incredible feat of integration in home automation technology, Vivaldi may, in fact, synchronize your physical surroundings with the color of the web by connecting itself with Hue color lights from Philips. But it does more than just that. Vivaldi includes new features such as the ability to drag tab stacks and selection or to create "folders" of tabs will smooth out the whole process, removing unnecessary clutter from the screen (especially big ones). Additional options include the use of smart mouse patterns to quickly perform actions with a single gesture, and the option of saving quotes from the Internet as notes, including a link to the text and even a screenshot.
We interviewed Vivaldi's father and CEO of the company Jon von Tetzchner and asked him a few questions about the latest update of the product.
Chrome's speed and reliability, and Firefox stability and script versatility are currently the old warhorses that these two browsers still keep riding today. What is going to be Vivaldi's forte? What is going to be his most distinctive characteristic that would make it stand among its competition?
Vivaldi has a very different approach to the other browsers when it comes to design. The other browsers tend to focus on satisfying the mystical average user, who is a user with no special requirements, but we are all special, and we all have our own requirements. Out of the box, you notice that Vivaldi is more colorful. The design is fresher. Once you start playing with it and learning about all the features, you start to notice that you can tailor the browser to your needs exactly.
The upcoming Opera's update is going to feature a VPN option to grant a safer browsing experience for its user. Is Vivaldi going to offer something similar, or maybe some other form of integrated security?
At this time, VPN is not part of our feature set. That being said, our feature set gets longer each day so it is impossible to say what the future will bring. Generally we focus on what our users want us to focus on.
Which one do you think is going to be Vivaldi's most groundbreaking feature in terms of innovation?
I think the most important part of Vivaldi is the design philosophy. We have a long list of features, that our users love, but it is the totality that matters. No matter which features you use, you can tailor Vivaldi to your requirements.
Among Vivaldi's most interesting features, its high versatility and ability to diversify the standard tabs interface seems to shine. Are there any pre-built options to show tabs and windows so users can try them and maybe find a new better solution than the classical one offered by everyone else?
Vivaldi is itself a personalized tool. When you start Vivaldi it leads you through a few of the options available. It really only touches the surface of what it has to offer. Spend some time in the settings and you will learn more. Do it gradually and let the browser grow with your requirements as you find out exactly how you want the browser to work for you. As you get to know it better, you will become more effective and enjoy your Internet browsing.
Vivaldi is definitely a step forward in providing final users with more alternatives to the current market giants, and it's newer improvements are surely going in the right direction. Like many other startups and freeware projects, the colorful browser tried really hard to stand out among its competition and, so far, has even received some positive reviews since its original release in April 2016. However, it's still too early to understand whether this small, less-known gem is going to stand the test of time and grow to the full size of its potential.
More about Vivaldi, Browser, Web browser, home automation, domotics