Vivaldi 2.10 Improves Site Compatibility, Themes

Posted on December 23, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Web browsers with 18 Comments

Vivaldi is another great web browser that should be part of the conversation about the move away from Google Chrome. Like Brave, the new Microsoft Edge, Opera, and other alternatives, it is built on the open-source Chromium project, but offers improved privacy and other advantages, key among its extensive customization capabilities.

And now, it’s getting a bit better.

“Vivaldi 2.10 [is] our last desktop update of the decade,” Vivaldi’s Jon von Tetzchner explains in the announcement. “Ending on a high note, we address a very significant issue that will provide you with the best website compatibility while browsing. The new version also gives you an option to match and even schedule your browser themes to be in sync with your device’s operating system. In addition, there have been overall improvements across the board.”

The compatibility issue is perhaps the most interesting: Even though it is based on Chromium, Vivaldi has experienced compatibility issues or even blocking when it reveals its true name to certain websites. In fact, Vivaldi not-so-vaguely claims that Google, which makes Chromium and Chrome, is one of the companies blocking it.

“Vivaldi is often blocked by competitors, rivals and tech companies in positions of power,” von Tetzchner notes. “Blocking browsers has no technical merit in 2019, nor has it ever had.” An accompanying video makes it even clearer that Google is engaging in shenanigans.

To counter this illegal behavior, Vivaldi will no longer identify itself as Vivaldi to websites. Instead, Vivaldi will now appear much like Chrome does, eliminating fake compatibility issues. (This is a problem for the new Microsoft Edge, by the way, and I’m curious to see whether Microsoft ever addresses it.)

In addition to this change, Vivaldi is also improving how the browser can schedule its themes: Now, in addition to following its own schedule for theme switching, Vivaldi can simply change themes as your OS switches between its own Light and Dark themes. (This new option is available at Settings > Themes > Scheduled Themes > Use Operating System Theme.)

There are other changes in Vivaldi 2.10, too, including improvements in the Address Bar layout and some keyboard handling tweaks, improvements to the toggle to show or hide hidden extensions, and significant performance improvements to Quick Commands.

You can learn more and download the free Vivaldi web browser here. The Beta version for Android was also updated fairly recently; you can find that on the Google Play Store.

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