What a surprise. Vivaldi Technologies, maker of the highly customizable Vivaldi web browser, has released a first technical overview of the long-awaited messaging component. When we interviewed Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner in 2018, he revealed that Mail was something the company was working on to shut down another feature that users loved in Opera’s classic web browser.
Today, Vivaldi Technologies announced that Vivaldi Mail is ready for public testing. Launched as a technical preview, it is integrated into the latest snapshot of the Vivaldi web browser. Users must activate the messaging component manually at this time to start using it.
Here’s how to activate Vivaldi Mail now:
- Load vivaldi: // experiments / in the browser’s address bar.
- Check the Calendar, Mail, Flow experience.
- Restart Vivaldi.
Select Mail from the side panel and click the button to add your first account. Adding an account is quite simple, most of the time you just have to enter the e-mail address and then the password for the account.
You have a handful of options, for example to enable prefetch or add a sender name and signature.
The new component combines an email client, a feed reader, and a calendar. Vivaldi Mail supports IMAP and POP3, which means you can integrate any email client into Vivaldi Mail as long as it supports one of the two standards. The possibility of creating a Vivaldi account and integrating it into Vivaldi Mail is also offered.
The mail component supports multiple email accounts that you can all add to the client, in the same way that you can add multiple accounts to Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
Vivaldi Mail uses a tri-fold layout. The left sidebar, called the Mail panel, displays mail folders and accounts, as well as flows. All emails in the selected folder are listed at the top and the selected email is displayed at the bottom of the interface. Options to change the default display modes are provided, for example to switch to a horizontally split layout instead of the default three column layout.
You can toggle a lot of what is displayed by default to hide certain components; this is true for custom folders, mailing lists, feeds, spam and trash buttons. Additionally, you can choose to show only unread emails by default to better focus on those.
The messaging panel displays unread and unread counters for all the folders it displays; the difference between the two is that unseen refers to new emails that you have never seen before, while unread refers to seen emails that you have not yet processed. In other words, invisible is the count of all new, unread emails for all emails that you have not yet marked as read.
Vivaldi Mail supports saving searches as filters; useful if you run the same search over and over and want to speed things up a bit in the future. Tags are also supported and they are synced even if you are using a different client, such as Thunderbird, on a different device.
Adding feeds isn’t as intuitive as it could be, as it can only be done in settings and not directly from the messaging interface. Another thing that needs to be taken care of is importing and exporting OPML files so that users can migrate from another feed reader to Vivaldi Mail or export their feeds. As this is a preview, it is possible that these small usability issues may be resolved. in future versions.
The feed reader works great and is easy to use. Some functionality of the messaging component can also be used here, for example to add flags to specific posts or feed tags.
Engineers have added keyboard shortcuts to Vivaldi Mail to speed things up for users who prefer to use the keyboard. You can reply by pressing “R”, forward e-mails with “F”, mark “K” e-mails or entire “M” discussion threads as read, or permanently delete e-mails with the shortcut Shift-M.
Another handy feature is that Vivaldi keeps track of the history so that you can move back and forth through mail folders using the history buttons.
Emails can be sent immediately or you can queue them for bulk sending when you’re done.
The calendar is the third and final item in Vivaldi Mail. It supports synchronization through Vivaldi account or any other CalDAV calendar. Users can choose to keep all local data, but synchronization is supported if required.
The calendar supports a number of useful features including inline editing, easy creation of events, different layouts for displaying data, a handy year preview option, full keyboard accessibility and Moreover.
You can check out the very detailed blog post on the Vivaldi Blog for more details.
Vivaldi will be one of the few web browsers with an email component once it launches as a stable release; this alone sets it apart from the main browsers that do not offer these components. While you can add support for feeds through extensions to some, mail is not something you can add using extensions.
The tech preview already looks good and it works well. The feed reader is fast, but it does require a bit of work on the usability side, and it remains to be seen whether it is capable of handling hundreds of feed subscriptions without performance issues.
Overall, this is a very promising start for Vivaldi Mail.
Now you: What is your first impression of Vivaldi Mail?