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Vivaldi Browser adds support for Google Chrome Extensions, gets a Dark Theme and more
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Vivaldi Browser adds support for Google Chrome Extensions, gets a Dark Theme and more

by AshwinJuly 16, 2015

Vivaldi Browser has been updated to Technical Preview 4, and the latest version adds support for Google Chrome Extensions.

Vivaldi-Browser-Google-Chrome-Extensions

If you haven’t heard of the browser before, it may not be surprising.

Vivaldi Browser, is a new web browser made by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, the the former cofounder and CEO of the popular browser, Opera. Vivaldi was launched in January 2015, and has managed to garner an impressive user base.

Vivaldi uses the Blink Engine,  which is also used in Google’s Chromium browser (on which Google Chrome is based too). And not suprisingly, the browser now supports Google Chrome extensions.

Softpedia humorously calls Chrome the “new Firefox”, and I have to agree, both browsers are terrible at RAM management, and have become quite bloated. Earlier today, Microsoft boasted about how its new browser, Microsoft Edge beat Chrome and Safari in some Javascript benchmarks. That should tell you the state of Google Chrome’s browser.

However, Vivaldi does not suffer from such performance issues.

Quick description of Vivaldi’s features:

The browser has a sidebar panel much akin to Opera. You can use the sidebar to quickly access Bookmarks, Mail, Contacts, Downloads, and Notes. You can hide the panel by clicking on the button just below the sidebar (in the bottom left corner).

Note: Mail is not available in Vivaldi Technical Preview yet. It has been over 6 months since the browser debuted, but the Mail tab has always said that it is “coming soon”.

Vivaldi-Browser-UI

The browser has options to view/hide images, and also adjust the zoom view from the buttons, in the bottom right corner. To the very top left corner, is the V icon, clicking on which reveals the Browsers menu.

The address bar has a bookmark button, to the right of which is the search bar. The navigation bar can be found to the left of the address bar with some nice looking flat white icons. The background colour behind the three bars mentioned above automatically switches to the primary colour of the webpage you are on, this affects only the tab you have open. Vivaldi supports mouse gestures as well.

Vivaldi Browser supports Google Chrome Extensions:

Though Vivaldi’s announcement suggests that support for Google Chrome Extensions may not work fully. We tested a few extensions, and while some of them managed to work without any issues, some extensions crashed the browser. LastPass did crash it the first time I tried to install the extension, but it worked fine after the second installation.

A huge drawback, is that Vivaldi does not display the extension’s icons on the toolbar just yet, clearly signifying that support for extensions is in early stage.

You can manage installed extensions by opening this page in a new tab, vivaldi://chrome/extensions.

Vivaldi-Browser-Chrome-Extensions

So, this should prove to be a great way to attract users away from Google’s browser.

More changes:

You can also access the new Keyboard Cheatsheet by using the key combo Ctrl + F1.

Vivaldi-Browser-Keyboard-Shortcuts

Technical Preview 4 also adds new Mouse gestures to Vivaldi, and now allows laptop users to use the trackpad + alt key for drawing gestures. Prior to the latest version, Auto Update only worked with Windows 32 systems, but Vivaldi now supports auto updating on Mac and Win x64 systems as well.

Vivaldi Browser gets a Dark Theme too. You can switch between themes from Settings > Appearance.

Vivaldi-Browser-Dark-Theme

Download Vivaldi Browser for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the official website.

And don’t worry, the setup file for Vivaldi, is not an online installer. It is a fully offline installer which weighs at approximately 36MB.

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