Still just a technical preview

Vivaldi browser’s latest features include “fast forward and rewind”

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Ordinarily I wouldn’t be writing multiple stories about technical previews of a new browser, but Jon von Tetzchner’s new Vivaldi keeps coming up with surprises even before it hits the beta stage.

Vivaldi’s second technical preview, released Thursday, adds expected features such as bookmarks, but it also includes new ideas such as “fast forward and rewind”. The fast forward feature acts as a navigational aid for jumping to the most logical next page – the next search result or forum thread page, or the next photo in a gallery. Fast rewind takes you back to the first page you visited on the site you’re reading.

The Opera founder’s new power browser is also gaining features that could well endear it to various niches. For those on slow or costly connections, there’s control over whether pages should load images or not, or only show cached images. For those surfing without a mouse, there’s an experimental new spatial navigation feature for jumping around pages with minimal key presses.

Interestingly, even at this early stage Vivaldi seems to be gunning for those who want to browse using widely-overlooked languages, adding options for Galician, Armenian, Macedonian, Belarusian and (no surprise, given von Tezchner’s origins) Icelandic. The second technical preview also adds support for 64-bit Windows and 32-bit and 64-bit Linux (actually, the 32-bit Linux support appeared last month, but it wasn’t included in the first technical preview release as such).

The first technical preview had 400,000 downloads in a week; since then the rush slowed, as it had a total download tally around the 700,000 mark. But remember, this is still just a technical preview for testing purposes – it’s not even at the alpha stage yet, let alone beta. Von Tetzchner and his largely ex-Opera team are trying to differentiate Vivaldi from its stripped-down rivals as much as they can, and it’s interesting to observe how they’re doing so.

2 Responses to “Vivaldi browser’s latest features include “fast forward and rewind””

  1. Anonymous

    Depending how accurate it is – that’s kind of neat. Though my main concern is security. Mozilla/Chrome both have the funding, resources, open-ness, and community to find critical bugs that put security in danger and the manpower/resources to promptly patch them.

    Of course, security gets overlooked by most people.

  2. Truth be told .heavy users have other problems not the lack of features.
    Stability and RAM usage. With hundreds of tabs open and weeks or more uptime, restarting the browser is very annoying and RAM usage gets out of hand.
    It’s not that uncommon to use more than one browser, more instances, disable anything that can be disabled just to get a little more stability and not have the restart the main browser that often to free some RAM.
    Perf, features and feel become a lot less relevant when all you need is for the thing to not crash and maybe not eat all your RAM.
    Loved the many features Opera introduced over the years (and others copied) but was never stable enough to become my main browser.