A new version of the Vivaldi web browser was released on December 19, 2019. Vivaldi 2.10 features compatibility improvements and usability enhancements.
Vivaldi 2.10 is already available as an in-browser update. Vivaldi users may select Menu > Help > Check for updates to run a manual update check or wait until the new version is pushed to the device automatically.
The new version of Vivaldi is also available on the official company website for all supported operating systems.
Vivaldi Technologies noticed that some sites on the Internet would block access to the Vivaldi browser outright or modify functionality instead; this is caused by sites using user-agent sniffing to determine the browser that is connecting to the site.
Vivaldi is based on Chromium and it should work on all sites that Chrome and other Chromium browsers work on. While that is the case, some sites did block Vivaldi in the past nevertheless.
To improve compatibility, Vivaldi engineers decided to drop the Vivaldi part of the user agent string to prevent sites from discriminating against the browser.
Vivaldi uses the classic user agent only on a certain number of sites including several search engines and the company’s own website.
The latest Windows version of Vivaldi returns the following user agent at the time of writing:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/79.0.3945.94 Safari/537.36
Vivaldi created a video that explains the concept further:
Another new feature in Vivaldi 2.10 introduces support for matching the browser user interface to the color scheme used by the operating system. The feature needs to be enabled under Settings > Themes > Scheduled Themes > Use Operating System Theme so that any pre-installed or custom theme may be used in light or dark mode.
The last stable Vivaldi release of 2019 features a number of additional improvements. The browser’s Quick Commands feature should perform better than before. Additionally, users may notice address bar and extensions improvements (toggle) in the new browser version.
As is the case with every Vivaldi release, the browser’s core has been updated to a new Chromium version.
User agent sniffing is abused in this day and age, sometimes by large Internet companies that operate browsers of their own. The change should improve compatibility significantly and reduce the likelihood of Vivaldi users running into sites that don’t load properly or block access outright.
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