Google Chrome is used by half of the world’s internet users, so it’s hard to see why anyone would need a new browser. But other developers believe they can outdo Chrome, and you should pay attention to them, just in case.
The first is Vivaldi, launched by Norway-based Opera Software’s former CEO Jon von Tetzchner. The second is Brave, created by Firefox innovator Brandon Eich with the goal of transforming and revitalizing the web’s publishing business. Both of them have exciting features that may make browsing the internet easier.
Von Tetzchner quit Opera – popular in Europe, Asia, and Australia – in 2013 because he believed its browser was being dumbed down. “For those people who actually want to do more with their browsers,” he told the Boston Globe, “the current browsers aren’t giving them what they need.”
Vivaldi is loaded with the perks that von Tetzchner thinks other browsers are lacking. For example, there’s a side panel which saves frequently checked pages, allowing quick access, as well as the option to take notes or capture a screenshot. Vivaldi also allows tab stacking, which allows you to organize your open tabs based on topic to create a “super-tab.” For anyone whose browser is littered with open tabs, you’ll appreciate this solution to your own clutter.
Brave, out of San Francisco, is designed to block many but not all ads. It functions by rewarding advertisers that don’t waste bandwidth or violate privacy, while giving consumers the incentive to view such adverts. Eich believes Brave can help online publishers from going out of business.
Eich says the widespread use of ad-blocking software is bad for everybody. “If it hits a tipping point, it’s going to be hard for publishers to make a living,” he was quoted as saying.
This is why he designed Brave to track and remember its users’ interests and tastes, without sharing that data to third-party companies. The browser transmits a string of key words such as “cars” or “movies,” so the companies know what to advertise. Brave also works with advertising companies to design low-bandwidth, privacy-friendly ads. Eich is already testing this with one major ad network.
Where’s the incentive, you ask? Well, Brave collects 15 percent of revenues generated by compatible ads, and gives another 15 percent to users in the form of Bitcoin.
Both Vivaldi and Brave are browsers to watch – the former for its advanced features, the latter for the capacity is has to change how we use the internet.