Vivaldi unveils revolutionary new History feature

Challenger web browser Vivaldi 1.8 has been released for Windows, Mac and Linux. The browser, which has made great strides in its relatively short lifespan, unveils another game-changing feature with this new release.

The headline new feature is a revamped History view — accessed via the Speed Dial or by pressing [Ctrl] + [H]. The feature gives users a more visual overview of their browsing behaviour, making it easier to find — and return to — previously visited pages and sites.

 The new History provides users with additional ways of sifting through their past browsing experience. The traditional list view favored by other browsers has been joined by additional daily, weekly and monthly views, giving the History a calendar-like look and feel.

The screen also gains three tools for giving users visual aids — a Browsing Activity graph reveals spikes in activity, while a Link Transition Type pie chart lets users see how they’ve browsed from one page to another. Finally, a list of the top domains visited during the selected period is provided.

Daily and List views are almost identical, while Week provides a summary list for each day in the selected seven-day period. Selecting Month produces a monthly calendar on the left, with each day filled with a color-coded summary of pages and sites visited. Users then select a day to reveal a list of time-stamped entries for the day alongside the calendar.

The design of the History feature serves several purposes. First, it helps users track down elusive web pages they’ve previously visited with the help of the Search tool. It also provides insights into user online behavior by revealing the kind of information third parties like to track.

Fortunately, Vivaldi emphasizes that none of this data is shared outside of the program. Users can continue to easily remove browsing data, either by clicking the brush button to delete data over a specified period, or by selecting individual pages and pressing the [Delete] key.

And there’s more

Other new features include adding a new History option to the Side Panel, providing a list of recently visited sites that users can review without having to navigate away from the current page.

The Notes feature also gains a major improvement — now users can simply drag and drop selected text from other pages and even applications into the Notes panel to create a new note. Text can also be added from web pages via the right-click menu (choose ‘Copy to Note’).

Vivaldi also adds host of new customizable options. Users now gain three choices when choosing tab-muting behavior via Settings > Tabs: ‘Play All Audio’, ‘Play Only in Active Tab’, and ‘Prioritize Active Tab’ — this latter allows background tabs to play sound only when the active tab is silent.

The current home page can now be set to the Start page (Settings > Startup), while links can now be forced to open in the current tab via the right-click menu. Hibernated tabs can now be displayed in grayscale via ‘Dim Icon when Hibernated’ (Settings > Tabs) and Windows users can now toggle the automatic-update function on and off via Settings > Autoupdate.

Other tweaks include matching terms being highlighted in the results drop-down window when performing a search via the Address Bar, while a new option for right-clicking an image in a web page and choosing ‘Search Google for image’ has been added.

Vivaldi 1.8 is available now as a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux, along with a 64-bit build. Users can import data from a variety of browsers, including Opera (old and new versions), Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and — via HTML export — Firefox.