Vivaldi 1.5

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.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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