Vivaldi Browser for Mac is a fast, feature-rich web browser designed for power users. It’s lesser known and the top browsers such as Chrome and Firefox but still has a growing user base as more updates expand the functionality of the application. It’s developed by Vivaldi Technologies, a company co-founded by Jon von Tetzchner, the co-founder of Opera Software. The Vivaldi browser is available for Windows, macOS, Android and Linux, and has a strong focus on privacy and customization.
Vivaldi has 3 flavors of browser, “Essential”, “Classic” and “Fully Loaded”.
“Get away from Big Tech and have fun doing it.”
The Essential variant of the browser is just the skeleton of a modern web browser. It still comes with a ton of built-in features such as Ad-block, Tracking Protection, Translate and Extensions support for Chromium based add-ons which can be great if that’s all you’re looking for as a potential replacement to Opera, Edge or Chrome for example.
One of the standout features of Vivaldi is its tab management capabilities. It has a “stack” feature that allows you to group related tabs together, making it easier to organize and navigate your open tabs. It also has a “tab cycling” feature, which allows you to quickly switch between your open tabs by using a keyboard shortcut. This is becoming more common in other browsers such as in Chrome.
This more fleshed out version of Vivaldi comes with some “nice-to-have” features on top of the Essentials package. Whilst these features may be more convenient for some users, it is also worth noting a potential increase in system resource usage as more features equals to more processing (and storage usage). All of the following functions are still under the “Zero Tracking” philosophy.
Capture is a feature that allows full page screenshots of websites but without the list of having them stored online after using a service like Gyazo. Alternatively you can take a regular screenshot using this tool but there are also macOS functions to do this: CMD + Shift + 3 (screenshot) or CMD + Shift + 4 (selected area screenshot). Output options from Vivaldi can be common PNG and JPG formats but also can be directly copied to your clipboard or creating a new note, which leads us to the next feature. Another great feature of the application is note taking. This is stored within the browser and can be shared across devices. Unlike Google & Microsoft services that scan your inputs and notations, Vivaldi pledges to not process any data.
This flavor can also support split screen browsing, allowing users to have 2 or more websites side by side at any time. This is also more resource efficient than opening separate instances of the same browser, making for better performance all around.
Again, adding on to the “Essentials” and “Classic” options, the “Fully Loaded” package combines everything together into an all-in-one tool. An additional Email interface is part of this version, allowing you to add all your emails into one place with support for Gmail, iCloud, IMAP & POP3 & other top email providers. For extra capabilities of this, much like Apple Mail also linking with your iCloud Calendar, Vivaldi also gives users the Calendar feature from within the browser, making it easy for a user to manage browsing, note taking and communication all in one app. As you’d expect from any email service, you can also add contacts to an address book to store the information across devices when using the browser.
In our opinion, the “Fully Loaded” option is the top spec of browsing experience, it was very fast and streamlined to use. The reassurance about privacy is always noted throughout the browser and it’s overall a great experience to play around and have access to all the trimmings on offer.
One of the key benefits of Vivaldi is its high level of customization. You can customize almost every aspect of the browser, from the layout and color scheme to the behavior of various features. For example, you can set up keyboard shortcuts to quickly access your favorite features, or customize the way tabs behave when you close them. There’s also support for custom mouse gestures, allowing you to improve workflow and make aspects of browsing work better for you. Macros are also supported as default, being the only one when compared to Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and Edge.
This level of in-depth customization is crazy for a browser and it’s interesting to see just how much can be altered to your liking. As an idea, you could fit the theme with the rest of your desk setup to make it as seamless as possible – also aided by macOS’s streamlined user interface in contract to Windows.
Interestingly, the browser has also been adopted by car brands as a solution to providing web browsing capabilities on the go (besides a phone). It’s built for Android Auto and is officially supported on Polestar and Renault vehicles but could we see this app making its way to the top carmakers in the industry? Only time will tell!
Despite all these features, the only shortcoming being the fact that there’s so many options to choose from and a lot of different features. Some users may find it daunting from transferring from another browser and as such, not take advantage of everything that’s being offered to them. Whilst the migration is made easy on the technical side, the mental side of getting into good habits for browsing using Vivaldi and it’s suite of features could make some feel overwhelmed and potentially drive them back to their previous solutions. Vivaldi have done a great job at developing something with the user in mind, but if said user is unsure of what they want, it can be a hard pass for many who are already comfortable with their current situation. For this reason, it’s fair to say that using Vivaldi to its maximum might be best done on a fresh install or a new device.
It would also be nice to see an iOS version of Vivaldi, however with Apple’s requirement to have all browsers use WebKit, Vivaldi Technologies would have to start from the ground up in order to deliver to the iOS community, but there’s certainty that this would be a welcome development.
Overall, Vivaldi is a powerful and feature-rich web browser that is well-suited for power users who want a lot of control over their browsing experience. Its strong focus on privacy and customization make it a great choice for anyone who values these features. If you’re a Mac user looking for a new browser, Vivaldi is definitely worth checking out.
Thanks for reading this article! If you downloaded Vivaldi and tried it on your device, let us know how it went and what you think about our analysis of it on social media at @Appleosophy.
Vivaldi Browser for MacVivaldi Browser for Mac
- Customization5/5 AmazingThe customization of the browser is unmatched. Vivaldi literally let's you control how you want the browser to perform and look like with a very easy interface. This is on a whole new level when it comes to themes, tweaks and extensions!
- Privacy4/5 GoodThe message of privacy is reinforced throughout the browsing experience, letting users know how many trackers and cookies its blocked along a user's journey using the app. It prevents Big Tech from tracking your moves across websites and helps you control the data you share.
- Device Compatibility3/5 NeutralAvailable on Windows, macOS, Linux (Desktop) as well as Android (Mobile) and even Android Auto for Polestar & Renault cars. This would be even better if the compatibility would be full circle to include iOS in the mix - considering it is a large share of the mobile market.
- Functionality4/5 GoodWith the core features of a web browser, the functionality is massively extended within the Classic and Fully Loaded variations of the app, with extra built-in functions such as notes, email and contacts, Vivaldi negates the need for 3rd party extensions and add-ons like in other browsers. However, the extension store functionality is made possible through using Google's Chromium platform, which is negative for privacy. One additional feature which would be nice is a built-in VPN option, however extensions for this are available.
- Infinite customization
- Import bookmarks & extensions from other browsers
- Secure browsing with ad block & tracking blockers
- Native email client
- Native note taking & editing
- Native contacts address book
- Cross platform availability & compatibility (except iOS)
- Overwhelming for existing users to transfer in from
- Users may not use all the features provided
- Still relies on Chromium
- No built-in VPN
- Can become laggy if many tabs are open
- Isn't available on iOS