10 years ago Chrome blew us away with its speed and ease of use. Within months virtually everyone we knew was switching over from Firefox or IE (yes, we have some friends who stuck with IE for THAT long).
Since then it’s felt like we’ve been in a bit of a browser rut. There have been iterations of established names and the odd rebadging but nothing has dragged us away from Chrome. Its steady market share of around 60% suggests we’re not alone in feeling like this.
However, we’ve recently had our head turned by a relative newcomer – Vivaldi. Here are eight reasons you should consider making the switch.
It’s So Customisable
Vivaldi’s sweet spot is personalization. When you first open it you’re given the options of picking a theme and changing your tab layouts.
Vivaldi’s speed dial feature allows you to add your favorites to the start page of any tab you open.
Ever get lost in your tabs? Well in Vivaldi you can simply hover over them to get a quick peek at what each one contains.
If you often can’t bring yourself to close things down then you have the option to hibernate a tab. This saves it for later but takes it out of view. You can also search through all your open tabs!
Additionally, you can stack tabs one on top of the other – basically giving you 2 layers of tabs to play with. It feels like a small feature but is great for decluttering your desktop.
Awesome note taking
Key to Vivaldi’s functionality are “web panels”. These are “customizable (t)abs which allow you to keep your favorite sites easily accessible in the side (p)anel”. An especially useful web panel is called “Notes”.
If you want to store some copy from a website for later, you can right-click and send it to your notes panel. It’s fantastic for when you’re in research mode.
This browser has serious heritage
Vivaldi only launched in 2015, but it has some serious heritage that distinguishes it from other upstarts. Co-founder and CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner is the previous CEO of Opera.
Let’s face it, Google is nosey. Vivaldi, however, doesn’t want to know your personal details. They never track or store any of your personal data.
They also have an incognito function for when you don’t want other users of your computer to see what you’ve been browsing.
You can use Chrome extensions
Vivaldi is built on Chromium; Google’s rendering engine that, you guessed it, powers Chrome. This means if you can find an extension in the Chrome Web Store then you can use it with Vivaldi.
It’s still fast
There were serious speed improvements with Vivaldi 2.0. We’ve been spot testing it against Chrome and we can’t see any significant difference in speed.
Moving is easy
Vivaldi can synchronize your bookmarks, passwords and autofill data. Phew!
This is where things get tricky. We love the idea of jumping ship but, frankly, we’re probably too addicted to make the switch in the long term. However, we’ll be using Vivaldi for the next few weeks to see if we can kick the habit.