Vivaldi Technologies released Vivaldi 1.8, the latest version of the company's desktop web browser a moment ago featuring a redesigned history feature, and more.
Vivaldi is one of the web browsers that I'm keeping a very close eye on: the browser has come a long way since first beta and stable releases, and grown considerable in the past twelve months.
Vivaldi 1.8 is the eights major release of the browser since the release of the stable version almost a year ago.
Each new version added something to the browser, often a unique feature that you could not find in this form or at all in other browsers.
Vivaldi 1.8 -- history reimagined
The main new feature of Vivaldi 1.8 is a reimagined history page. The browsing history has not changed all that much in the past decade or so in web browsers. It consists of a long chronological list of visited URLs for the most part, and looks nearly identical in all browsers. There is a search usually, and an option to filter the results.
Vivaldi 1.8 reinvents the history page, but it is designed in a way that users will feel at home right away.
This is achieved by keeping the chronological format of the history, but adding stuff to it. Even better, many of the things that are added to the page can be hidden, so that you don't have to use them if you don't want to.
Customization options are one of the strengths of the Vivaldi browser, and the redesigned history page highlights that again.
The screenshot at the top shows the history page in its glory. The calendar on the left is optional, and you can display or hide it with a click. It enables you to jump to a date quickly though.
The stats on the right are also optional. They highlight your browsing activity, the total of page views and visited pages, and the top domains that you visited.
The chronological listing is still there, but improved. The time of the visit is listed there, the page title, the address (including whether the page was secure or not), and the number of views.
You can run searches to filter the results, go back or forward in history, or switch from day view to list, week, or month view. This may lead to the following display of history information:
You can display all four information modules side by side: the calendar, the weekly/monthly view, the actual listing of sites, and the activity information.
Best of all, all the information is processed locally, and not transferred to the cloud.
History side panel
Another history related feature is the new ability to display the browsing history in the sidebar. Simply click on the new history icon there to display the browsing history of the day.
You can switch to another day or time period, or use the search to find history records quickly using it.
Drag and drop notes
Another new feature is the ability to drag and drop content on the notes menu of the sidebar to create a new note. This works not only from within Vivaldi, but apparently also from other applications.
Instead of using drag and drop, Vivaldi users may also highlight text on a website, right-click on the selection, and use the copy to note feature from the context menu for that.
If you prefer to use the keyboard for that, use Ctrl-Shift-N to copy the text and add it as a note in the browser.
New Tab Audio controls
Vivaldi has supported audio muting controls for a while. Simply right-click on a tab to mute tabs, or click on the play icon on the tab directly to toggle between mute and play.
Vivaldi Technologies improved the audio controls in Vivaldi 1.8. The new Tab Muting menu in the Tab Settings of the browser lets you limit audio playback to the active tab in the browser, or prioritize audio playback in the active tab.
The first option blocks any audio in inactive tabs, the second blocks audio in other tabs if audio plays in the active tab. If it does not, audio in background tabs may be played.
We reviewed the new audio management feature here previously. Check it out for detailed information.
Smaller changes worth mentioning
Things don't end there. Vivaldi 1.8 features a lot of smaller changes, that are nevertheless pretty cool:
- Option to turn off automatic updates. Go to vivaldi://settings/autoupdate/, and remove the checkmark of the "enable autoupdate" box. You may set the "notify about new updates when Vivaldi is not running" option instead to receive notifications when updates are made available.
- You may set about:home as the start page.
- Open links in the current tab from the right-click context menu.
- Change the style of hibernated tabs to grayscale.
- Address bar drop down menu highlights matching characters now.
- Right-click image search options.
- Translation improvements.
Installed copies of the Vivaldi web browser should pick up the new version automatically and install it on the system. You can download the latest version from the official website as well.