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Vivaldi adds an email client and calendar into your browser

Vivaldi has just released an update introducing a number of useful features that are built into the browser itself.

Starting with today’s patch, the browser features a full-blown email client, as well as a calendar and feed reader. Should Vivaldi’s competition begin to worry?

Vivaldi is a smaller browser that many users may have not even heard of just yet. Seeing as the market is still dominated by Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari, some stat counters don’t even register Vivaldi and simply lump it in with other similar browsers. However, today’s update just might become the push that Vivaldi needed in order to gain a bit more interest from the internet at large.

Instead of utilizing separate email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or resorting to using Gmail and Google Calendar, Vivaldi users can now access all of these functionalities from within the browser. The feature, called Vivaldi Mail 1.0, sets out to do more than just be a built-in email client — which makes sense. After all, both Gmail and Outlook can be used through the browser, and accessing them is as easy as clicking a bookmark. That’s why Vivaldi seems eager to stand out a bit by making your emails easier to manage.

Perhaps the nicest feature provided by Vivaldi Mail is the fact that you can combine all of your email services into one, be it a Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo account. Vivaldi indexes all your emails, meaning that you can go back to them when you’re offline, and this applies even to emails you haven’t had the chance to open just yet. Vivaldi teases that it will automatically detect your mailing lists and mail threads, as well as give you the option to search through everything with ease.

Vivaldi also tackles an issue that many of us have, which is having too many email folders, resulting in a general sense of disorganization. The browser automatically sorts your mail into different views and folders. Each email can be placed in multiple views at once, so if several categories apply to one message, you’ll find it in the right folders.

Vivaldi

Users can swap between different views and toggle them on or off, so if you want to hide all the junk mail, you can. All of the views are visible by default, so you’ll likely want to go into the settings and disable a couple when you first set it up. The browser also provides configurable shortcuts that make it easier to compose a new email, reply to existing emails, and more.

Vivaldi’s calendar tool looks much the same as other calendars, but it lets you choose whether you want to use a local calendar or an online calendar. It can also be sorted into different views, allowing you to choose how much information you want to see per event. The built-in RSS feed also offers a range of customization options that should help you filter out the spam and keep the interesting news.

Today’s update certainly provides some interesting features, but will it be enough to truly put Vivaldi on the board? It might be, but Google and Microsoft can rest easy — their numbers are way too high for a smaller player like Vivaldi to quickly catch up. Be that as it may, this could be an interesting option for users who long for a more streamlined experience across many services.

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Tech News

Vivaldi browser on Android lets you automatically block cookie requests

The European Union’s GDPR was a double-edged sword that protected privacy not just for the region but for the rest of the world but at the expense of some inconveniences. Website administrators had a hell of a time implementing compliance and users now get welcomed by messages asking their permission to enable cookies. These can get pretty annoying or even downright confusing which is why Vivaldi is bringing its Cookie Crumbler feature to Android to pretty much block most of those cookies and their dialogs altogether.

It is, of course, a good thing to ask users whether they want to have cookies track their visit but, unlike Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency, the permissions for these aren’t exactly trivial. Unless you’re a more seasoned computer user, you are more likely to just allow all those cookies, which pretty much negates the purpose of letting users protect themselves online.

Vivaldi’s solution to the confusion and interruption is to just hide those dialogs and block cookies at the same time. This feature is part of its Cookie Crumbler that it introduced on its desktop browser and is now arriving on Android. It is part of the browser’s tracking protection features, which is why it is found under those related settings, in case you want to disable it.

You might actually be forced to disable it on sites that require cookies to even work. Vivaldi also warns that there will be some sites that seem to work around cookie blockers so it might not work 100%. That said, its blocking system is based on third-party lists that continue to grow as more and more sites with cookies are added to it.

The update to Vivaldi on Android also includes cookie-unrelated new features. Vivaldi can now use a language different from what Android is set to for those that have to juggle multiple languages. The update also brings back the Start Page icon that was removed when Vivaldi switched to a bottom location for its address bar and tabs.

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Tech News

Vivaldi browser on Android lets you change how pages look

Web browsers on mobile are sometimes considered to be watered-down versions of their desktop counterparts. That’s often due to limitations on the platform itself, limitations in the user interface, or limitations in hardware resources. Vivaldi, however, throws that convention out of the water just like it does on desktops, trying to offer power user features that don’t require add-ons. Its latest trick on Android is to give users the ability to change how web pages look, just because they can.

Web browsers both on desktop and mobile do offer some ways to configure how a web page is displayed, but those are usually limited to fonts, certain colors, and accessibility options. Those, however, might not be enough, at least according to Vivaldi, and it’s giving a few more switches for users to flip under its Page Actions feature.

Available already on the desktop, Vivaldi users on Android can now also enjoy the power to drain all the color from a page, give it a sepia tone, or even rotate images. Vivaldi says that these page-changing options can increase accessibility and readability but doesn’t deny that some users will do so just for the fun of it.

Page Actions are coming to Android in version 3.6 of the browser but that’s not the only new thing that Vivaldi is putting on the table. The browser now has a built-in QR code scanner so you don’t have to jump back and forth between browser, camera app, and browser just to scan a code that will take you to a web page anyway. And while all browsers, including Vivaldi, have their own download managers, Vivaldi will now let you chose your own external download manager, even if that’s actually a different web browser.

Vivaldi is arguably a rather interesting browser in that it actually embraces an overload of features when others like Google and Firefox are leaning towards minimalism. Some might actually find it a bit overwhelming but, then again, you’d be hard-pressed to find a mobile web browser that will let you rearrange its own UI to your preferences.

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