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Old 28. Jan 2015, 12:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
Anupam
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Thanks to deya, came to know about Vivaldi yesterday, and from the screenshot on its site, it looked quite interesting. Downloaded and installed it, and have used it briefly.

I initially thought that this browser must be based on a different engine, but was surprised to know that it uses the Blink engine, that Chrome, and Opera use. Disappointing a bit, but well, guess Blink is the trend nowadays.

I noticed the striking similarity in interface between Vivaldi and Opera. Opera have made their browser different from other Chrome/Blink based browsers in terms of interface. Vivaldi have done the same, and the interface looks similar to Opera. When you open the browser, the basic look is the same as that of Opera, with Speed Dial, and its squared icon showing, like in Opera. The sites too are placed the same. If you remove all the sites, the big "Plus" sign too is the same. Opera places Speed Dial, Bookmars and Discover towards the bottom of that page, whereas, Vivaldi places Speed Dial, Bookmarks and History towards the top.. easily noticeable than Opera.

I think this similarity is intentional, to give Opera competition.

I find Opera's interface a bit clearer, probably because Vivaldi by default uses black, and Opera uses a light background.

Once past the interface though, Vivaldi is different from Opera.

Vivaldi has a side panel, which has icons for bookmarks, mail, contacts, downloads and notes.

Initially, I thought the panel will remain like that, and I was disappointed, but later found out, that the panel will close, by clicking on the Show Panel button towards the bottom. I have a faulty mouse, so probably, it did not work before, but, clicking that button, the panel goes away.

Also, in the settings, there is a panel toggle option, which when checked will show a very thin strip with a small arrow, clicking which will also close and open the panel. However, the panel won't disappear completely with that. The thin strip will keep showing, although it won't be noticeable, and won't come in the way. Don't know why they have this option, because even when you select that option, the Show Panel icon is still there.

There is also a Settings icon towards the bottom of the panel, which gives a quick access to the Settings, when the panel is showing.

I find the Settings menu of Vivaldi quite organized, clean, and different... better than Opera, which looks like the rest of the Chrome based browsers. Settings can be shown all at once, which is the default, or can be seen by category.

Had a problem setting the home page though. On most browsers, I keep about:blank as the homepage, and it works well on all browsers, but Vivaldi does not support it. Browsers, like Opera, provide the option to have their start page, with speed dial showing, as the homepage, but Vivaldi again, does not have that option. Strange. Maybe they will provide more options later.

Not much customization currently, but tab position can be changed. Panel can be shown on left or right hand side, and Vivaldi button can be changed with the traditional horizontal menu.

Not many settings currently, but might increase as the browser is developed further, but presently, it looks quite organized, and is quite simple, and not as confusing as the settings in the Chrome based browsers.

The browser has no ad blocker presently, and also was not able to block popups. So, even if you like using the browser, and is fairly stable, these things will be a bother.

One thing which annoyed me, was that I could not get a site to open, by just writing its name, and then trying to open it by pressing Ctrl + Enter, which puts the www and com, and opens the site. Basic operation, but does not work.

Some sites open up pretty fast, but some sites opened up terribly slow. Hope it will improve on this aspect. It is a technical preview, so cannot expect much.

I really liked the feature that when you open a site, and switch to its tab, the tab and the browser icons will change color depending on the major color of that site. Looks quite good. Would have been better if the tabs kept showing that color when it wasn't active, so it would be easy to differentiate between opened sites. Still, a good feature.

There is a trash icon on the tab bar, towards the right, which can be used to open sites that have been closed. Didn't see an empty trash option though.

There are many pre-loaded bookmarks that majority may like. I personally did not.

The bookmarks panel works as a quick access to bookmarks. For more detailed view and operations, the bookmark icon on the start page should be used.

One thing I did not find in the Settings, and neither in the Menu, was for clearing the browsing data. I found it under History on the start page. They should make this available from Settings, or under the Menu. Perhaps they will, later on.

For a technical preview, the browser seems to behave quite well, and is fairly stable. It did crash though, when I tried to open the Rediff site, which opens a pop-up. I had deliberately opened the site, to check for pop-up blocking, and the browser crashed. Had to kill the various processes from Task Manager. Even after starting the browser after that, it tried to open the same tabs as before, and crashed again. Had to again kill it from task manager, and it opened fine on second attempt.

Strangely, the first time it happened, I had Opera open, and I saw opera crash reporter process in task manager, even though Opera had not crashed. Makes me wonder why.

Overall, the browser looks good, and is a very interesting browser. It will be really interesting to see how it develops over time. Considering that many features are planned for later releases, which users will want to see, it can prove to be more popular than Opera. And if it does that, Opera will have to step up on their development, otherwise this browser is going to be a strong competition for Opera. People already seem very interested in it.

Must say, the name, and the logo too are interesting than Opera .
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