Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

Take the M3 exit to offline mail and calendar shenanigans


It's been a while coming, but browser maker Vivaldi has finally released a public preview of its long awaited email client.

"It arrives," wrote Vivaldi boss Jon von Tetzchner, "just ahead of Thanksgiving as a way of saying 'thanks for waiting'."

And goodness, it has been a while coming. Back in 2015, the browser makers confirmed: "A robust, efficient, lightweight and good looking email client called M3 is to be integrated into Vivaldi." And the faithful waited, patiently.

Over the years, various company representatives have confirmed to us that the client existed, but none would commit to a release date. And now here we are.

Dubbed by some as M3 (likely in tribute to the long abandoned Opera Mail client, known as M2) the technical preview is not a separate stand-alone application, but is built into the Vivaldi browser itself. Getting it working requires the downloading of snapshot 2115.4 of the browser and the enabling of the functions via vivaldi://experiments.

Once done, it's a relatively straightforward experience. As well as the mail client, the feature includes a feed reader and a calendar. The former integrates with the existing IMAP/POP3 service, while the latter hooks up via CalDav.

The use of such a client means one does not need to fire up something like Gmail's web interface to collect one's mail.

Assuming, of course, one can get Gmail integration working. We had a crack at it and failed pretty much at the first hurdle with a blocked message from Google. Von Tetzchner remarked: "Hopefully Google will enable access soon. It is kind of absurd that they do this, but we have contacted them again about this issue. Gmail is working fine for those of us that have been using M3 with it during the development period, but they put this limit in place and they need to lift it."

At present the number of accounts that can be logged into Gmail IMAP and Google CalDAV with Vivaldi's client at any one time is limited to 100. "Google," Vivaldi said, "has (after 9 months) still not approved our account access Consent Screen."

Still, this is a technical preview after all. Time remains to iron out the wrinkles.

The email client did, however, seem pretty complete and stable when used with non-Google email and calendar accounts. Multiple accounts can be added, and offline searches are snappy enough. Different mailbox views are supported, as well as IMAP folders and message queuing. The Mail client also includes a feeds section for subscription fans and the Calendar supports day, week, multi-week or month views of upcoming events.

It's a neat tool, and one that will be welcomed by users of the company's browser and those that miss the old Opera Mail client. Many, however, will have made the move to something like Thunderbird by now if an offline email client is their thing, or will already be rolling with one of the web mail clients available.

As for a final release, Vivaldo said the new toys "require a fair bit more polish and hence will not be finished and ready in time for the release of Vivaldi 3.5 stable," although they can still be activated via the experiments page. Builds for Windows, macOS and Linux are available as well as ARM32 and ARM64 under Linux (although the latter pair have an "unsupported" health warning). ®


Other stories you might like

  • Thunderbird 102 gets a major facelift, Matrix chat support
    Mozilla's messaging client appears to have benefited from sponsor shakeup

    Open-source cross-platform email and messaging client Thunderbird has hit version 102, with a new look and improved functionality, including Matrix chat support.

    The latest release is the first major upgrade since version 91, which The Reg looked at last August. This is normal for the app – it follows the same approximately annual release cycle as Firefox's Extended Support Releases, the most recent of which was also version 91. From now until the next major release, Thunderbird 102 will get a regular stream of minor updates and bug fixes.

    102 has a modernized look and feel. There's a new "Spaces" toolbar, which appears vertically on the left of the app window and lets users quickly flip between inbox, address book, calendar, task list, and chat tabs. All of these are built-in features – the former Lightning calendar add-on is now an integral part of the app, as is PGP support, which used to be an add-on called Enigmail. Thunderbird can talk to various groupware calendar and contact servers, including both private and corporate Google Mail accounts, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, and others.

    Continue reading
  • UK govt promises to sink billions into electronic health records for England
    NHS App role expanded following perceived COVID-era success

    The UK's National Health Service (NHS) has committed to implementing electronic health records for all hospitals and community practices by 2025, backed by £2 billion (c $2.4 billion) in funding.

    The investment from one of the world's largest healthcare providers follows Oracle founder Larry Ellison's promise to create "unified national health records" in the US after the company paid $28.3 billion for Cerner, an American health software company also at the heart of many NHS record systems.

    In the UK, health secretary Sajid Javid has promised £2 billion to digitize the NHS in England, including electronic health records in all NHS trusts (hospitals or other healthcare providers) by March 2025.

    Continue reading
  • China says it has photographed all of Mars from orbit
    Enjoy the slideshow from Tianwen's orbital adventures

    China is claiming that as of Wednesday, its Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter has officially photographed the entire Red Planet. And it's shown off new photos of the southern polar cap and a volcano to prove it.

    "It has acquired the medium-resolution image data covering the whole globe of Mars, with all of its scientific payloads realizing a global survey," state-sponsored media quoted the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announcing.

    Among the images are one of Mount Askra with its crater, shots of the South Pole whose ice sheet is believed to consist of solid carbon dioxide and ice, the seven-kilometer deep Valles Marineris canyon, and the geomorphological characteristics of the rim of the Mund crater.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022