Vivaldi composes Split View sonata for browser on iPadOS

Tweaks to sorting in Notes and Bookmarks, but WebKit still holds conductor's baton

Vivaldi has updated its eponymous browser on iPadOS to take advantage of Split View, although the browser engine remains WebKit-based for now.

Vivaldi 6.7 has been released today for iPad and iPhone with tweaks for big-screen users. The most notable update was support for Split View. Split View has been around for a number of years on the iPad and supposedly simplifies multitasking. The theory goes that you can have apps running side by side, like in the days of Windows 8.

Apple provides an example for its web browser, Safari, and Vivaldi has followed suit. It is possible to open multiple Vivaldi windows side-by-side on the iPad. The company explained: "You can create as many Vivaldi windows as you want for all your different tasks and work modes. We have also enabled more iPad features like always-on-top Slide Over Mode."

The release also includes improvements in sorting for Notes and Bookmarks, as well as the ability to force a dark mode color scheme on websites not designed for one by setting the color preference to dark.

However, times are changing in the browser world. In its release notes since version 6.6, Vivaldi said: "You can also recommend Vivaldi to your European friends when they discover the Browser Choice Screen when they get a new device or on a software update."

Apple introduced the browser choice screen in iOS 17.4.

The European Commission has since decided to add Apple's iPadOS to the Digital Market Act's list of gatekeepers. Safari, iOS, and the App Store were already there. Apple has been forced to open iOS to third-party browsers and app stores, and permit developers to distribute apps via the web. Something similar would, therefore, be expected for iPadOS.

At the time, Vivaldi's Jon von Tetzchner said: "This clarified designation shows that, like us, the EU believes that iPads and iPhones are part of the same ecosystem, and Apple controls both as the gatekeeper. They both run the same iOS operating system, even if Apple claims that iOS and iPadOS are different; they are fundamentally the same. The only real difference is the screen size."

Does that mean that we'll see Vivaldi ditch WebKit in favor of the browser engine used on its desktop products? After all, the company is all about "harmonizing your Vivaldi experience."

Sadly, not just yet. A Vivaldi spokesperson told us: "Given that Apple still forces us to use WebKit outside the EU, there is no possibility of having a unified engine everywhere.

"We make a browser for global use, so because of Apple, we are not able to use Chromium, unless we want to have to maintain two separate iOS browsers. We hope that this situation can change." ®

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