Oslo-based Vivaldi has released an update to its Android browser replete with additional weaponry for the ongoing Tracker and Ad Blocker arms race.
Version 3.2 for Android devices (an iOS version is apparently in the pipeline) ups the ante by allowing users to select additional blocking lists as well as including custom lists in a manner that will be very familiar to those running the company's desktop browser.
The integrated Tracker and Ad Blocker was already a thing in the Android app, and easily enabled or disabled (at a Tracker and Ad level). The addition of new sources of block lists permits users to be a bit more granular with what the browser will put a stop to.
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Vivaldi's tweaks come at an interesting time in the browser industry. Veteran Mozilla was recently forced to cut its workforce, blaming the pandemic, while Microsoft has been nudging Windows users toward its Chromium-based Edge, with the bridges behind set alight.
As more hop aboard the Chromium train, browser makers are seeking ways to differentiate themselves (other than via the User Agent string, about which Vivaldi has infamously stamped its feet in the past). Being more privacy-focused than thou seems a handy battlefront from a customer perspective, and occasionally brings a performance boost to boot.
Other notable tracker and ad blocker evangelists include the privacy-obsessed Brave, which takes things a step further and recently added a subscription VPN service into its iOS browser, although came a little unstuck recently thanks to an affiliate links coding snafu.
Version 3.2 of Vivaldi for Android has also tidied up the mobile interface, with buttons for enhanced tab functionality shunted to the bottom of the app and the Tab Strip (the company's take on desktop-style tabs) renamed to Tab Bar. The Tab Bar, which allows users to open and switch between tabs, is on by default but can be switched off to free up precious screen space. ®