Wednesday, 09 December 2020 07:56

Vivaldi releases new browser version for desktop users

The new QR code on Vivaldi 3.5 for the desktop. The new QR code on Vivaldi 3.5 for the desktop. Courtesy Vivaldi

Norway-based Vivaldi Technologies has released a new version of its browser of the same name for the desktop user, with a number of new features.

A statement from the company said in version 3.5 it had added a convenient way to share links with a QR code, using a small button the address field. The codes can be generated from within the browser itself. Earlier this month, version 3.5 was released for the Android mobile operating system.

The playing of video and audio has been improved through a number of fixes. There are also new ways of managing tabs, with the new ways being:

  • "Open a new tab in the background by default: A new open in the background setting makes it possible to change the default behaviour regarding opening tabs via the context menu.
  • "Clone tab in the background: This will help users clone a current tab with previous page browsing history not interrupting any task that is currently being worked on.
  • "Improved Popup Thumbnails for Tab Stacks: There are noticeable changes while hovering a tab stack, helping users spot and select any tab in a stack instantly. More stacked tabs now fit on a screen, displaying a page title, domain, and thumbnail. Users can also interact with audio icons, giving them easy control of sound in stacked tabs."

As to the video and audio changes, the company pointed out that at times users were unable to play premium streaming services from companies like Amazon Prime HD, Spotify, and Peacock TV among others.

This was because these sites used digital rights management to control where users could play the videos.

Such sites may use Widevine – a Chromium content decryption module – to play the video in Vivaldi on Windows and macOS.

"The websites may also check the Widevine certificate keys before playing," Vivaldi said. "Vivaldi has now added Widevine certificate keys, which will allow videos to play on those websites.

"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."

Other features added include more menu customisations, single keyboard shortcuts, and a new accept-language setting.

Vivaldi chief executive Jon von Tetzchner said: "At Vivaldi, we are passionate about creating value for our users. Continuous improvements to our feature-set make your experience on the Web smooth and help you stay productive.”

Vivaldi is an employee-owned firm that is headquartered in Oslo, with offices in Reykjavik, Boston and Palo Alto. There are versions of the browser for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. There is no version for iOS because Vivaldi is built on the open-source Chromium browser and Apple does not allow browsers that do not use its Webkit browser engine that is used by Safari.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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