Vivaldi Web Browser 1.11 Brings Enhanced Reader Mode and Accessibility Features

Vivaldi web browser, the spiritual successor to Opera 12, reached version 1.11 on Thursday, bringing an improved Reader Mode, animation controls, and advanced accessibility features to the highly configurable Mac app.


Vivaldi, which claims to be the most customizable browser for power users, has quietly been carving its own niche in the desktop web browser market and now boasts over 1 million users. The browser is aimed at staunch technologists, heavy internet users, and previous Opera web browser users disgruntled by Opera's transition to the Blink layout engine, which removed many popular features.


First up in v1.11, there are tweaks to Vivaldi's existing Reader Mode, which offers a clutter-free reading environment by stripping off unwanted advertisements, videos and other distractions. Users can now adjust the settings at the top of the page they're currently viewing in the Reader Mode, including the ability to choose the font type and size of the text, set the column width and line height, as well as select either dark or light background.


On top of those changes, Vivaldi's custom Themes add another dimension, allowing users to choose their custom Theme and apply it to the Reader Mode. Custom Themes in Vivaldi also have programmatic support to enforce minimal contrast, which aims to make the browser more comfortable for people with visual impairments.

Elsewhere, Vivaldi now offers a simple way of turning off GIF animations, for people who react to flashing images and want to avoid them. Clicking on the Toggle Images icon in the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen reveals three options for loading animations – always, once or never.


There's also an improvement to Editable Mouse Gestures in Vivaldi that let users execute a command with a simple movement of the mouse. In version 1.11, users have increased control over this feature with the ability to set the minimum stroke length for the gesture they want to register. Additional accessibility options in this version also include quick commands and keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to zoom on selected pages and set a zoom level on a per tab basis.

Vivaldi browser is a free download for Mac available directly from the Vivaldi website.


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Opera Web Browser Redesign Brings Quick Access to Chat Apps

Opera web browser has undergone a major user interface redesign that features quick access tools to popular messaging apps including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger (via TechCrunch).

Codenamed "Reborn", the design overhaul project has been evident in beta builds for some weeks, but the new browser version is now available as a stable release and existing users should receive the update automatically over the next few days.


The messaging service access appears as sidebar icon for each chat platform, which invokes a popup with existing conversation lists. Users are able to start chatting from the sidebar while they browse the web. Chat app shortcuts are also displayed on the Speed Dial homepage.

Buttons and tabs have been reworked, with more prominent shadows and subtle animations. Also included in the redesign are new-look Speed Dial themes, refreshed icons, and a new dark mode featuring dark toolbars.

Opera also continues to include a free VPN and a built-in ad blocker. The web browser is a free download for Mac from the Opera website.


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Opera Debuts New ‘Opera Neon’ Concept Browser

Opera today showcased its first ever concept browser, codenamed Opera Neon. Built on the same browser engine as the standard Opera browser, Neon is designed to focus primarily on content.

Opera Neon includes a new user interface that consists of a start page using the user's current desktop background image, a sidebar with a video player, image gallery, and download manager, and a visual tab bar that makes it easier to switch between tabs and tell which tab is active.


There's also a built-in "intelligent system" that manages tabs, with frequently used tabs listed at the top and the less used tabs being relegated to the bottom.

A pop-out video option lets users watch videos while viewing other web pages, and a snap to gallery feature lets users take a screenshot and crop any part of a webpage, saving it for later use. With an included split screen mode, it's also possible to view two web pages simultaneously, side by side.

operaneon
Opera Neon won't replace the current Opera browser, but some of its features will eventually be added to Opera. Both Mac and Windows users can download a free version of Opera Neon to test.


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Opera Browser for Mac Gains Built-in Currency Converter

Opera has added a built-in currency converter to its free web browser to make online international purchases a simpler experience for users (via TechCrunch).

The new feature appears in the browser's Preferences under User Interface options, and can be enabled to automatically show conversions in the foreign currency of choice whenever the user highlights a price on a page. Conversions are calculated using the daily exchange rate from the European Central Bank.

opera currency conversion
"Cross-border e-commerce is booming all around the world. According to research, within four years, 45 percent of online shoppers worldwide will purchase products from foreign online stores." Opera's Krystian Kolondra said in a blog post. "There are many countries, in which more than 50 percent of people do it already."
The option appears after updating to Opera version 42, and joins the browser's growing list of unique features, such as its built-in VPN and ad blocker.

Opera is currently selling its browser business to a Chinese consortium for $600 million and will see the company's mobile and desktop operations transferred as part of the deal. Opera will continue to own its Mediaworks ad business, apps, and games unit, as well as its TV business, after an initial $1.2 billion deal to acquire these other departments collapsed.

Opera browser is a free download for Mac from the company's website.


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