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Vivaldi 3.5 includes media playback and usability improvements

Vivaldi Technologies released Vivaldi 3.5 for all supported desktop versions on December 8, 2020. The release comes days after the release of Vivaldi 3.5 for Android.

The new version of the Vivaldi browser improves the browser's media playback in regards to DRM protected media and introduces more usability improvements.

You can check the installed Vivaldi version by selecting Help > About in the interface. Select Help > Check for Updates to run a manual check for updates; the browser should pick up version 3.5 and install it automatically.

Vivaldi 3.5

Vivaldi users who encountered issues playing DRM protected media on certain sites won't run into these issues again after the update to Vivaldi 3.5.

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Vivaldi developers added Widevine certificate keys to the web browser to; Widevine is a DRM technology that sites may use to protect media streams. The addition of the certificate keys improves the user experience significantly according to Vivaldi Technologies:

This means media sites using Widevine DRM that previously did not work in Vivaldi will now deliver the content smoothly. For example, if users frequent Amazon Prime HD, Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, and Peacock TV in your browser, they’ll have a better experience than before.

Amazon Prime HD requires the clearing of data after the update to Vivaldi 3.5. Select the lock in the address bar while on Amazon Prime, then Site Settings > Clear Data. It is necessary to sign-in to the account again afterwards.

Tab Management improvements

vivaldi tab stacks interface

The browser's tab stacking feature has been improved in the new version. The tab stacks feature allows users to stack tabs on top of each other so that multiple sites occupy a single slot in the browser's tab bar.

When you hover over a tab stack in Vivaldi 3.5, you get a visual list of the open sites in the new version. Each site is listed with a thumbnail, root domain and page title. Sites with media playback display a mute/unmute toggle next to that to quickly change the state of audio playback.

Three additional options have been added to the browser's extensive tab management functionality. Users may configure Vivaldi so that new tabs and cloned tabs are opened in the background by default; last but not least, there is a new option to always display the close button in Vivaldi to improve touch screen device usability.

Other improvements

vivaldi qr code generator

Vivaldi 3.5 includes a QR code generator that users may use to generate QR codes for website addresses for sharing.

QR code URL sharing needs to be enabled under Settings > Address bar > Address Field Options > QR Code Generator.

A new icon is added to the address bar of the browser that you may activate to display a QR code for the current URL. Options to copy it to the clipboard and to save it are provided.

Vivaldi allows users to customize most menus of the browser. Menu items that have shortcuts displays these shortcuts now when added via Settings > > Appearance > Menus. to better highlight these shortcuts when the menu is selected.

The developers have fixed a long-standing issue in Vivaldi that affected single-key shortcuts. Vivaldi supports so-called single-key shortcuts that are activated with a single-press. These shortcuts don't require the use of additional keys, e.g. Ctrl or Shift. Users could run into issues using these keys when they typed into forms, e.g. when a field required a credit card number and users pressed "1" as 1 is mapped to switching to the first open tab in the browser.

Vivaldi 3.5 includes a new option to add and order multiple languages that websites should be displayed in.

Load vivaldi://settings/languages to open the language settings and use the menu to add or remove languages, and to change the order (ordered from top to bottom priority-wise).

Another new feature in Vivaldi 3.5 brings support for disabling certain Google features in the browser.

vivaldi privacy

Search for Google in the Settings and look under privacy. You find options to disable certain Google Services and Extensions, e.g. Chromecast Media-Router, Cloud Print, or Form Autofill Assist.

Closing Words

Vivaldi Technologies continues to add more customization options and other options to the browser; it is still refreshing to see these being added instead of being removed as most browser makers streamline their browsers instead and that often involves removing features.

Now You: what is your take on Vivaldi?

Summary
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Author Rating
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4.5 based on 7 votes
Software Name
Vivaldi 3.5
Operating System
Windows, Mac, Linux
Software Category
Internet
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Comments

  1. Kent Brockman said on December 8, 2020 at 7:15 pm
    Reply

    The ‘tab stack’ feature is pretty cool, thanks for the tip!!

  2. Clairvaux said on December 9, 2020 at 12:18 am
    Reply

    “Vivaldi Technologies continues to add more customization options and other options to the browser; it is still refreshing to see these being added instead of being removed as most browser makers streamline their browsers instead and that often involves removing features.”

    Indeed. Who would have thought that it would become necessary, at some point, to state the bloody obvious : adding features and empowering users is better than the opposite ?

    The QR-code feature is typical of the smart innovation which characterizes Vivaldi. Also, the new stacked tabs preview is proof of attention to detail : it’s definitely better than the previous iteration.

    An important addition of this version is the inclusion of the email client + calendar + feed reader, previously available only in the beta version of Vivaldi. It’s still necessary to activate it through vivaldi://experiments.

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