The latest technical preview of Vivaldi, the new Blink-based browser launched by former Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner, is now available for download. New features include additional customization options, support for more mouse gestures, and experimental support for extensions. The team expects that this fourth preview will be the last one before it’ll consider the browser ready for its beta program.
The new version of Vivaldi now allows users to switch between four themes and move tabs to the top, bottom, right or left, for example. The Vivaldi team claims that there are now more than 155 million ways to customize the browser.
The new customization options are a good example for Vivaldi’s overall philosophy. “We have a saying, “when in doubt, make it an option,” von Tetzchner says in today’s announcement. “Some people fear choices. But your web browser is something you use throughout your day. Shouldn’t it look, feel and work the way you want it to?” The Vivaldi also unapologetically said that it wants to build a browser for power users, and being able to customize a browser is part of that.
Earlier versions of Vivaldi already quietly supported Chrome extensions, but with this update, the team is now officially considering this an experimental feature. In my experience, many extensions from the Chrome Web Store will work, but what’s mostly missing is a way to interface with them. They will happily run in the background, but their icons don’t appear in Vivaldi’s user interface.
Mouse gestures aren’t something most of Vivaldi’s competitors are looking at, but Opera always had strong support for this, so it’s no surprise that von Tetzchner’s new browser also offers this feature. In the new version, users now have the option to customize these gestures, and the team added gestures for switching tabs and activating the keyboard, for example. It’s now also easier to use mouse gestures with laptop touchpads.
Chances are you’ll still find the occasional bug when you try Vivaldi. I couldn’t move the browser windows anymore after one of the last updates, for example. That’s to be expected for what is essentially an alpha product, though. Overall, the browser already feels very stable and fast — and there is already a very active user community around it.