Six months in…..and how is it?

I started using Vivaldi back in September last year, nearly 7 months ago now. I chronicled my journey to the browser, its set up challenges and my early user experiences in some posts on this Community blog, and was quite active on the Forum (primarily asking broad brush questions about set up issues, switching to an alternative OS, what music I was listening to at random times and what book(s) I was reading). These were all interesting diversions, things I had never come across (before or since) on any other browser.

I’ve continued to post blogs from time to time, on assorted non-techie or non Vivaldi topics, and have enjoyed reading comments on them occasionally: a couple of Community members even subscribed. I have no idea how many people have actually subscribed, nor how many views an individual blog post has attained, and have so far found nowhere that such statistics are recorded. Seems a bit odd to me, as for any writer (whether an amateur hobbyist like me or a professional) surely has a keen interest in such things and welcomes any feedback, no matter how negative (or preferably positive!) it may be. One comment I received in fact suggested the entire Blog tool was a bit of an afterthought and not fully thought through by the Vivaldi team: I agree fully. It’s a great feature, in my view, but is nowhere near complete – in fact it can be decidedly clunky. But I still enjoy using it.

The Forum – at least to me – is full of surprises too. Vivaldi is a browser that has been around for a good few years now, we know that, so the majority of its kit should be mature and stable and something you don’t have to think too much about (even given the extraordinary amount of customisation available). So the number of issues that pop up on the Forum, things not working properly, bugs, crashes and the rest, across a wide range of topic categories (and it is a very detailed and well thought out repository) seems ridiculously high. I generally dip into it every couple of days and there are rarely less than 100 “new” issues to be read. Maybe it’s me, but that does seem to be a lot – and they surely can’t all be from newbies wrestling with new concepts and unfamiliar Settings! So unless something catches my eye on the first batch, I tend to mark them all as Read and move on. That said, the Forum was a great help in my early days, when I wanted to make a couple of customizations and couldn’t see how: I asked the question, and within a day had the information I needed, made my changes and have touched nothing since. Match that, Google (or Firefox, or anyone else….)!

I set up the Mail Host, and linked my Yahoo and Gmail accounts quickly and easily, and it works fine. It reminds me of my old MS Outlook, which is no bad thing, so I got used to it very quickly, and with it living within the browser (meaning I don’t have to open another application) makes jumping from my browsing experience to check and answer mails very simple. That said, I do wish items would be “Marked as Read” automatically when I move on from them – perhaps there is a setting I’ve missed, but right-click, Mark as Read does the job well enough. Calendar too is fine, although it’s not something I use a lot – as a retiree I don’t have to track travel plans, meetings and so on: I spent an hour of Day One adding all my family birthdays and anniversaries and it’s done. If I need to add a trip or something I can do it in a couple of minutes. Suits me fine.

Do I use it every day? Pretty much, yes. But I still keep Edge there as a default because I’ve left some things there and not ported them to Vivaldi. No reason I shouldn’t, and I could happily do it today, but I prefer it the way it is. Primarily these are related to various quasi-work tools and activities that I’ve been using for years without issue in Edge so I see no reason to change it – as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” I also dip into Edge every now and then, and spend a couple of days using it instead of Vivaldi, especially when a new drop of Edge has come in. Just to keep my hand in, so to speak.

There are a lot of productivity tools coming through, in terms of tab management for instance, that seem to be quite similar to the tools Vivaldi carries. I don’t use them at all, in either browser because my, to use the buzz-word, workflow doesn’t need them now I’m retired. I use my browser to surf the web, listen to music via a range of internet radio stations and Spotify, look at videos on YouTube, send and receive emails……and that’s about it. Simple and straightforward, so I rarely have more than two or three tabs open at any given time. I don’t need to save a page in a folder to look at later on, or incorporate anything into a project (because I don’t do projects anymore) so I simply don’t need to do complex stuff. But if I wanted to, either Edge or Vivaldi could do it.

The look and feel – note: the one I’ve “built into” my Vivaldi – is similar: both Edge and Vivaldi can optionally set a sidebar to hold the open tabs, both have another sidebar giving access to baked in (or user defined) tools and apps – so Mail, Wiki, RSS feeds (whatever they are) and so on, and both support thumbnails (i.e. Speed-dials). Vivaldi allows a bit more flexibility with them, but the idea is the same. I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in the way of processing speeds: both seem blindingly fast, certainly for my needs anyway. They are both cleaner and nicer to look at than Firefox or Chrome (at least to my eyes) and don’t need shed-loads of Extensions to add functionality, change look-and-feel or otherwise clutter up my drive. The only Add-On I have in Edge is an Ad-blocker that works perfectly well – but of course I don’t need even that in Vivaldi – and the on-line security tools seem to work equally well in both without having to make tons of changes and additions. I stress again: that is correct for my simple retiree needs: someone using Vivaldi for complex work tasks may have different requirements – and I have no doubt they will find exactly what’s needed with a bit of digging round. In either browser…

So: to summarise and answer my headline question: after 6 months, how is it? Simply: Vivaldi is great. Having tried, at one time or another for a greater or shorter time, all the major alternatives, I can safely say it beats them all in terms of functionality, customisation options, look-and-feel, speed and efficiency, privacy and security hands down. Its support, whether in-house or via this Community, is unique and indeed outstanding. It’s not perfect – but then, no browser – hell, no software! -is, but it does what it says on the tin. It just works. Edge comes a very close these days, and I’m happy to keep using it as stated above, but for a daily driver Vivaldi will always be my first choice.

No question.

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  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. And, with regards to follower and view stats, I like it the way it is. I get too distracted by ‘who’s looking’ and without those distractions I tend to write more from me and not to my audience. Because with my old blog the more followers the more I was mindful of it with my writing.

    1. Thanks for your reply. In terms of the stats, I can see and agree with your point, but it would be nice to at least have an idea as to the size of the audience. I don’t believe it would affect the content, since I always write for myself – often just to get things off my chest! – and it would be interesting to have an idea of how, for want of a better word, my views/feelings actually are. Do they reflect a wider public view or am I a complete outlier? It would be fun, but I can live without the stats without reducing the enjoyment I get from writing. I mean, I’ve written – and thoroughly enjoyed writing – books and short stories that have never publicly seen the light of day, and continue to do so!

      Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Thanks for this interesting article. I am always curious about how other people interact with Vivaldi, which is my preferred browser, at least for desktop (on mobile I do oscillate between Vivaldi and Samsung browser, which is excellent from many points of view). For stats, well, that has been my main concern when I was undecided if to move my English blog: I also exchange a couple of messages on Twitter with Vivaldi’s team about stats:

    I finally decided to move because of the warm sense of community, and in fact I had some interesting comment on my blog since it’s here in Vivaldi, while on it was for large part, happily ignored 😉

    Nevertheless, I hope that some simple stat will be soon implemented in Vivaldi’s blog.

    For the email, I try from time to time to use Vivaldi, but I miss a lot a way to filter the messages in a way that I can see only the messages of today, or this week, or yesterday… if there is a way on Vivaldi’s client, I still have not figured out (the same problem for me, is on the RSS reader). For emails, at the moment I rely upon Postbox, on Windows and on Mac. But with some further improvement, I could make the switch.

    1. Thanks for your Comment. Perhaps blog stats will come soon then…..we’ll see.
      I’ve not tried Vivaldi Mobile yet. I did try to install on my Galaxy S7 Edge, but never managed to get it properly set up. so gave up in the end. On mobile I tend to stick with Chrome, mainly because my picture taken on the phone I set automatically upload to my Google Pictures library, and Google Maps is still something I use from time. Perhaps I’ll give it another go……

  3. Recently started using Vivaldi, so it will be interesting to compare how it feels over time


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