A minor security issue in its installer prompted the release of Vivaldi 1.7.735.48 yesterday. The browser itself isn’t changed in this release – only its installer – but its version number was bumped up from 1.7.735.46 anyway. If you’re already running Vivaldi 1.7.735.46, there’s no need to update, and the browser won’t bother to update itself.
Apparently the people who develop Vivaldi believe that adding a screen capture feature to the browser is a good use of their time. Perhaps if you don’t use any other web browsers, and you only ever need to capture screenshots of web sites, and never of anything outside the browser, this would be a useful feature. The rest of us will use the much more powerful features of general-purpose screen capture tools like ShareX.
Aside from the arguably pointless addition of screen capture, Vivaldi 1.7 further improves audio handling, and includes tweaks for domain expansion in the address bar. More importantly, Vivaldi now warns users when they navigate to a non-encrypted page that prompts for a password.
You can see the complete list of changes for Vivaldi 1.7 in the official release announcement.
A new version of Vivaldi updates the Chromium browser engine and fixes some translation issues.
Perennial also-ran and ugly duckling web browser Vivaldi gets some much-needed improvements in its newest incarnation, version 1.6.
Bookmark, address bar, and link handling have all been improved. For example, hovering over a bookmark now (finally) shows the bookmark’s URL in the status bar. The oddball bookmark editor is still with us, but at least it doesn’t take up so much space in the sidebar. There’s a new option for opening search results in a new tab. Middle-clicking links and bookmarks to open them in a new tab seems finally to be working consistently. And clicking on a URL in the address bar (again, finally) highlights the URL.
It’s nice to see progress on this potentially useful browser, but there’s still work to do. Bookmarks in the bookmark toolbar can be right-clicked and edited or deleted – unless they’re in a folder. There’s still no option to switch to newly-opened tabs.
I continue to use Vivaldi for social media sites, but not as my main browser. Maybe some day Vivaldi really will supplant Firefox, but it isn’t there yet.
Earlier this week a minor update was released for Vivaldi. A new update mechanism was used (for the first time) to distribute this version to existing Vivaldi clients; according to the release notes for version 1.5.658.56, this reduced the size of the download to 323 kilobytes. The full download for Vivaldi 1.5.658.56 is 38.5 megabytes.
The update itself includes a few minor bug fixes, none related to security.
A new version of alternative web browser Vivaldi fixes a load of bugs, improves reader mode, and adds the ability to control home lighting.
Wait, what? Home lighting control? That’s right, Vivaldi 1.5 sports a feature that’s unlikely to have been on anyone’s wish list for their web browser. From the announcement: “Selecting which lights Vivaldi should control, the browser will synchronize your physical surroundings with the color of the web. This opens the door to a thrilling direction.” Apparently the Vivaldi developers are oblivious to the many serious security issues related to IoT devices, including the Philips Hue light bulbs on which this feature depends.
More usefully, Vivaldi 1.5 makes big improvements to tab and bookmark functionality, which in previous versions were at least partially broken in various, random ways. Version 1.5 seems to have addressed all of the remaining tab and bookmark issues.
Vivaldi 1.5 also includes changes to its update mechanism, and will now only download changes (not the entire browser) when updating itself. Presumably the Vivaldi developers noticed Microsoft was doing this for Windows 10 and decided to follow along. It’s a welcome change, but not exactly groundbreaking.
The official announcement post for Vivaldi 1.5 includes a list of all the changes. None of them seem to be related to security.
Another new release of Vivaldi appeared earlier this week, with no announcement or anything resembling release notes on the Vivaldi web site. The announcement blog is full of details on developer snapshots, which are of no interest to regular folks.
As with the previous release, I only became aware of the new version when I ran Vivaldi and an update dialog appeared. According to that dialog, the only change in Vivaldi 1.4.589.38 is a new version of the Chromium engine.
This morning when I fired up Vivaldi (I still use it for social media), it popped up an update message. Luckily, I actually read the change notes in the message, so I can tell you that Vivaldi 1.4.589.29 consists of an engine (Chromium) update, plus a few bugfixes.
I say ‘luckily’, because as I’m writing this, there’s no announcement of the new version on the Vivaldi blog, and no release notes of any kind. Sheesh.
A new release of Vivaldi features enhancements to theme support, including theme scheduling. Panels can now be different widths, and middle-clicking the garbage icon now restores the most recently closed tab.
Wait. Theme scheduling? Does anyone really need this? Frankly, I wish the Vivaldi developers would focus on the core issues, like tabs, bookmarks, and link handling, which are still a mess, in my opinion. Why is Vivaldi the only browser that doesn’t highlight the contents of the address bar on right-click?
The Vivaldi 1.4 release announcement has additional details, including a complete list of changes.
The people behind the alternative web browser Vivaldi keep hammering away at it, improving features and fixing bugs. With the release of version 1.3, Vivaldi is closer than ever to being a legitimate contender in the current browser war.
Still, Vivaldi has more than its share of problems. Some aspects of the user interface remain visually clunky or difficult to use, including the bookmark editor. There’s still inconsistency in the way links and bookmarks are handled.
I’ve been installing developer snapshot builds of the browser when they become available. In reviewing the change logs for these snapshots, I noticed a surprising number of ‘regression’ bugs being fixed. I understand that developer snapshots are not intended for regular use, and are likely to be rough around the edges, but each of these regressions belies a lack of communication and coherent effort among the developers.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m actually rooting for Vivaldi. I continue to hope that the Vivaldi developers get their act together and produce a version that I can once again consider seriously as a replacement for Firefox.