Vivaldi isn’t a new name for web browsers any longer, and since its launch it has received several updates, introducing many new features. With the Vivaldi 1.8 update, the company has implemented an unusual take on the commonly used browser history feature, calling it History. Other major updates in version 1.8 include note-taking and sound control across tabs. The latest version is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The new History feature in Vivaldi 1.8 is unlike its conventional counterparts in other browsers, and is aimed at giving users an insight into their own online behaviour by presenting it in a graphical manner, apart from helping them better find previously visited websites.
Users can look at their browsing habits with statistics and visual clues with Vivaldi’s new History feature. Also, if users visit a notable website but forget to bookmark it, and latter struggle to find the website again, they can use the new History feature to put their search in the context of a certain day or when they were ‘particularly active’ online.
“We want to make browsing history more useful than ever before,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO at Vivaldi Technologies. He further added, “Instead of having to scroll through hundreds of lines, Vivaldi gives a comprehensive overview of history, presented in a visual way. This lets our users analyse their online activity and helps them find what they are looking for.”
Besides the list of URLs in the history tab, Vivaldi also shows history in a calendar view that contain detailed statistics about previously visited sites. Graphs and a colour-coded heat map overlay is also included that helps users by showing peaks of their online activity and key browsing trends. Clicking on Vivaldi’s Side Panel will open options like bookmarks, downloads, notes, and websites of users’ choice, in addition to History.
Vivaldi emphasises that all of the information about user’s Internet browsing behaviour is private and secured on users’ local computers. “The new History feature shows the kind of data that could be tracked by third parties,” says von Tetzchner. Talking further about recording its users’ browsing data for the sake of monetary aspects, he said, “Instead of trying to monetise our users’ browsing patterns, we are giving them this data – for their eyes only.” Users also have control to analyse the information and keep what they require.
Apart from the new concept of Internet browsing history, Vivaldi 1.8 also brings other new features. Additional features include improved note-taking and advanced tab muting. The updated note-taking feature in Vivaldi 1.8 lets users take notes by dragging and dropping selected text to the Side Panel, not only from the browser itself, but from any other application. Users can also right-click on the marked text on the website they’re currently browsing and select Copy to Note from the drop-down menu to create a new note.
Another Vivaldi 1.8 feature that is relevant considering the often unwanted audio-visual playback on websites is the advanced tab muting feature. This feature lets you control unwanted noise by letting you choose to mute or unmute sounds from different tabs opened in the browser – you can now choose if they want to allow sounds in all tabs; only let the active tab play sound or let the background tab play sound, as long as the active tab doesn’t.
Vivaldi 1.8 also brings other features, such as the preference to enable or disable auto-updates on Windows; the option to set the home page to Start page; the ability to open links in the current tab from the right-click menu; an option to display hibernated tabs in grayscale; highlighting matches in the address bar drop-down menu; translation improvements for Chromium, and image search from the right-click menu.