Roughly half of all browser usage is Chrome-based. After that, it’s a toss up between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Apple’s Safari, and Mozilla’s Firefox. Other browser’s usage share remains in the low single digits.
Why is it time for a new browser? First, Google cannot be trusted. All those free apps come with a price. Google gathers personal data and uses that information as fodder for advertisers. There’s a reason all the ads you see while browsing often appear to be aimed at you. They are.
Second, Chrome is a power hog, whether Mac, iPhone, or iPad, so the company’s popular browser also requires more battery juice. Despite the long list of useful extensions, Chrome seems destined to become a stepping stone toward Skynet. So, no more Chrome. Firefox is too clunky, cluttered and Windows-like for me. Ditto for Internet Explorer. That leaves Safari, which I use regularly, and or something else. This week the something else is Vivaldi, which is designed and published by the folks who started the Opera browser revolution over 20 years ago. Vivaldi for the Mac looks and feels like a mashup of every current popular browser. Simple and elegant like Safari, thin toolbar like Firefox, tabs like Internet Explorer, but more customization options than Chrome.
Yep. Vivaldi browser window tabs can be moved to the bottom or the side of the browser; a nice touch for widescreen Macs. You can even move the URL address bar. Want a different color? Vivaldi can do. Too many webpage tabs? Stack ’em up to save space.
Vivaldi has a built-in note taker utility, plenty of keyboard commands, and may be the least intimidating browser you can find (next to Opera’s Coast on iPhone and iPad). Need to keep browser bookmarks in sync between multiple Macs? Vivaldi says bookmarks, passwords, and settings can stay securely in sync* (*sync is coming soon). There’s even an email app* built into Vivaldi (*email coming soon). You get the idea about how far development has come along, right?
This browser is fast, capable, and shows promise. Unfortunately, all major browsers are fast, capable, and boring. What I want is similarity and familiarity– bookmarks and personalized settings everywhere; Mac, iPad, iPhone, and online. That makes for a seamless workflow and browser usage between devices. So far, the only browser that comes close is Chrome.
That’s too bad.