Browser maker Vivaldi’s email client has finally hit version 1.0, seven years after it was first announced.
Vivaldi Mail, which includes a calendar and feed reader as well as an email client, first arrived in technical preview in 2020. A slightly wobbly beta arrived last year alongside version 4 of the Chromium-based browser. After another year of polish and tidying of loose ends, the company has declared the client ready.
As before, the client is built into the browser, meaning it is unlikely to appeal to many beyond Vivaldi’s existing user base. Enabling it is a simple matter of dropping into Settings pages and wading through until the option to enable Mail, Calendar, and Feeds can be selected. Vivaldi has a batch of settings – delightfully customizable for some and downright baffling for others.
That said, for users still pining for a good old-fashioned email client that doesn’t require wading through a web page festooned with adverts, there’s a lot to like. It supports multiple accounts, will sort messages and create folders automatically (locally, rather than on a mystery server in the cloud), and permits searching (with indexing performed offline). IMAP and POP3 are supported, making adding a provider relatively straightforward, and the company also claims that users can log into their Google accounts from Mail and Calendar.
Feeds (such as RSS or Atom) can also be added, but it is the Calendar that is likely to prove most useful. “You may already be using one,” the company admitted, “but we believe you deserve a better one. So we built it for you.”
Lack of modesty aside, the Calendar is an impressive application and will work as happily offline as online. Vivaldi’s vast array of customization possibilities in the browser is repeated here, with options to change the amount of detail displayed about events, perform inline edits, and vary the view by day, week, multi-week or month. Tasks can also be created from an event (or vice versa) and be visualized via the Agenda View.
All told, it’s an impressive release. However, despite Vivaldi’s claims that 4 billion people use email, expected to hit 4.5 billion by 2024, one cannot help but wonder if the company has missed the boat somewhat as messaging platforms such as Slack and Teams have experienced explosive growth over the last few years , displacing email as the communication tool of choice for many.
Company boss Jon von Tetzchner told The Register “Everyone uses email. Some use it a lot, some use it less, but everyone uses it to some degree. We target those that use mail regularly.”
He has a point. Additionally, the Calendar functionality is impressive and a usable feed reader is always welcome. And there is also that warm glow of knowing that local storage and operation should cut down on vaguely creepy antics of some of the major webmail providers.
The client can be downloaded for macOS, Windows and Linux, but not Android. von Tetzchner said: “Our current focus is on Desktop. We will have to see about Android, but clearly, that would be good to offer as well, but no promises at this time.”
And as for the Suggested Actions that have crept into recent Insider builds of Windows 11? “We will look into this. It’s a recent feature, and it might not even make it into production builds,” said von Tetzchner. “You can highlight text in Vivaldi and add it as an event.” ®