You’ve got more choices than ever when it comes to web browsing apps on Android—and unlike iOS, you can actually change the default browser from Chrome, too, so that URL links open up in the app you want them to. One of the newest arrivals on Google’s mobile OS is a browser that’s been making a mark on Windows and macOS for a while now: Vivaldi. With a variety of innovative features, from mouse gesture navigation to tab grouping, it’s already established a reputation as a viable browser alternative on desktop.
Now, it’s on mobile, launching there in beta just this week. If you’re growing tired of your existing Android browser or you just want to see what Vivaldi has to offer, these six features might might win you over. Still not interested? Maybe a privacy browser is more your speed. Or stick with Chrome! It’s still pretty great. The important thing is remembering that you’ve got options.
On both mobile and desktop versions of Vivaldi, a tap or click on the cloud icon brings up all the tabs you’ve currently got open in the app on other devices, linked by your Vivaldi account. That makes switching devices a snap. Everything gets synced with end-to-end-encryption protection as well, for extra peace of mind.
If you’re researching something online, or need to move text between sites, or just like composing a little poetry while browsing the web, Vivaldi for Android includes a note-taking feature just like its desktop counterpart. Tap the Panels button on the bottom left of the app, then the Notes icon at the top, to find it. Sure, it’s not the most advanced notes app you’re ever going to come across. But it’s well-integrated into the rest of the Vivaldi browser interface, and you can create notes straight from websites as well: Just select some text in a page and tap Copy to note. There’s a simple note search tool you can make use of as well. And as with tabs, all your notes sync seamlessly across all your devices.
You can customize your Speed Dial page, and create folders too—so you could have separate folders for tech sites, and entertainment sites, and shopping sites, and so on. Like just about everything else in Vivaldi, your Speed Dial links and folders can synchronize between all the devices where you’ve got Vivaldi installed. In fact, the entire bookmarks system is a breeze to use.
Choose Capture page from the Vivaldi browser menu and you get the option to grab the entire webpage—down as far as it goes—or just the visible area. Like everything else in Vivaldi, it’s elegantly done, and the image is saved to the gallery on your phone.
Tab management is a major part of web browsing nowadays, and Vivaldi makes it intuitive even on a smaller screen. From the tabs overview screen you can jump between open tabs, private tabs, synced tabs, and recently closed tabs with a swipe. You can open up new tabs with a couple of taps too.
You’ll notice when you fire up Vivaldi that it uses Bing as the default search engine rather than Google. You can of course change this to something else if you like. What’s more, you can hop between different search engines just by typing out a letter—type “d browsers” in the top address bar to search for browsers with DuckDuckGo, for example, or “b browsers” to search for browsers via Bing.