Vivaldi now has built-in options to block trackers and online ads, a change of heart for a web browser maker whose maker expected regulators to step in to protect privacy. The new features, designed to improve performance, are also set to arrive on Wednesday with the release of Vivaldi 3.0.
The development of a version of Vivaldi for Android phones, the first stable version of which came on Wednesday along with a PC update, helped drive the change. The testers told Vivaldi that an ad blocker is “imperative” to speed up page load and reduce mobile data usage on smartphones, the Norwegian-based browser maker said.
Vivaldi users are not alone in the fight with monthly network data limits. Chrome statistics show decreases in data usage and slower website load speeds towards the end of the month as people reach their monthly limits and accelerate to slower-speed networks.
The second push to block ads is Google’s planned change in how extensions interact with Chrome and, by extension, browsers like Vivaldi that rely on its open source base Chromium. The extension’s authors have warned that the change, called Manifest v3, could severely limit its ability to block ads and trackers.
The change in Vivaldi Technologies embodies the more aggressive approach that browser manufacturers are taking to protect people from online advertising technology that, while supporting free online services, has also brought major privacy downsides, performance, comfort and safety.