Big tech takes an ever-increasing role in our lives, with Google and Amazon in particular seemingly insatiable when it comes to dangling more exciting new services in front of us in exchange for another slice of our privacy. If you’re looking for ways to fight back, then Vivaldi Technologies' latest browser release should interest you.
Billing itself as a "real alternative to Big Tech", Vivaldi 4.0 arrives packed with yet more privacy-first tools, including beta releases of built-in mail client, calendar tool and feed reader for those who want them.
But before all that, Vivaldi makes a pitch for the translation market with the launch of Vivaldi Translate, a built-in translation service hosted by Vivaldi in Iceland and powered by translation platform LingvaNex. The idea is to keep your translations out of reach of Google, Microsoft et al.
Look for the Translate icon that appears in the right-hand corner of Vivaldi’s Address Field. Click once to bring up the Translate Page dialog, where you can choose which language to translate to (your OS language is selected by default), plus access additional options, including always choosing to translate websites in that particular language, never choosing to do so, never being asked to translate the current site again, and enabling or disabling the automatic translation of pages and pop-up prompts to translate.
The translate feature is available across all platforms – including Android and Chromebook – but the new beta mail client, calendar and feed reader are all exclusive to the desktop builds only. They’re also optional for those who are perfectly happy making do with just a browser. On first launch, users will find a new item added to the onboarding wizard, with a choice of three layout types now available: Essentials (basics only, including the new translation tool), Classic (adding panels, status bar and fast forward/rewind buttons) and Fully Loaded (adding Mail, Calendar and Feeds on top of the Classic tools).
The new Mail tool comes with the ability to automatically detect threads and mailing lists, plus it can categorise mail to make it easier to find, accompanied by a powerful search tool if you're still struggling to track that elusive message down. All of this heavy lifting is done by the app, which supports IMAP and POP3 accounts (plus Google Mail) and allows you access them all from a single inbox.
Vivaldi Calendar works like any good calendar should, and integrates with the browser through an Event Editor and quick commands. A range of online calendar services are supported (including a Vivaldi-hosted option) along with CalDAV servers, or users can choose to keep their calendar offline and private within Vivaldi itself.
Finally, the new Feed Reader tool makes it easy to subscribe to news feeds direct from the Address Bar – whenever a feed is detected on the page, a button will appear that can be clicked to add the feed to your list of subscriptions, which can then be read in the Mail app under Feeds. The feature also supports podcasts and YouTube channels.
For an in-depth look at Vivaldi 4.0’s new features, check out the official blog post, or review the full list of changes here. Vivaldi 4.0 itself is available now as a freeware download for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android – existing users can update through the program itself.