To say that we live in the Golden Age of Browsers is mostly an understatement. All the major web browsers are good; fast, secure, packed with usable features, with dependable webpage rendering. And they’re free.
Look up and down the line of browsers from Apple’s Safari to Google’s Chrome, from Mozilla’s Firefox to Opera– there’s not much to not like about each one, though each has a distinct personality, slightly different user interface, and different customization options.
So, why would a sane person enter the market with yet another web browser?
I don’t know but it doesn’t matter. Vivaldi brings a new look and noticeable speed improvements to the already overcrowded web browser market. The guy behind Vivaldi is Opera’s former CEO Jon von Tetzchner. Vivaldi is based on Google’s Chromium project but looks and feels much different than any browser you’ve used recently.
Vivaldi boasts the basics of webpage browsing. It’s clean and fast.
Vivaldi claims to be for browser power users but the speed, simplicity, and elegance might attract other users. It’s the only Mac browser I’ve used in recent years that appeared notably faster at rendering web pages than Safari or Chrome.
What Vivaldi does not have is bells and whistles. Unlike Safari, Chrome, or Firefox extensions or add-ons, Vivaldi seems bare but modernesque, in an iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite way. For the rendering engine, Vivaldi’s team chose Google’s foundation, rather than Mozilla’s engine or Safari’s WebKit.
Browser tabs turn color to kinda sorta mostly match the color scheme of the webpage. The Quick Commands tool is reminiscent of Spotlight on a Mac. Some buttons don’t work yet (Mail, for example), but the overall feel is good. Vivaldi won’t take long to set up as settings are nominal.
One thing missing in Vivaldi that I would like to see is a focus on security, rather than on standardized bells and whistles like email or extensions. Vivaldi will never top what is available for Chrome or Firefox, so why not go in a different direction? Speed and security.