New Vivaldi browser for iPhone and iPad wants to change how you browse the web on mobile

Vivaldi for iPhone
(Image credit: Vivaldi)

The world of iPhone and iPad web browsers just got a little bigger with the release of Vivaldi, an app that has been available for the desktop and Android devices for years.

The new Vivaldi browser comes from the company founded by former Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner and it's very much the anti-Safari in a lot of ways, something that might make the perfect option for some.

You only have to look at it to know that this is a browser with opinions. That starts with the desktop-like tabs and continues with a suite of features that would be right at home on a Mac rather than an iPhone. But if there's one thing Vivaldi won't be accused of, it's lacking features.

"A bite out of the Apple"

You understand Vivaldi's approach as soon as you see the title of its announcement blog post — "Vivaldi Takes a Bite Out of the Apple: Introducing Vivaldi on iOS."

Like all web browsers available in the App Store, Vivaldi uses the WebKit browsing engine which means that, under the hood, it's the same as Safari and all the other iPhone and iPad browsers. But in an interview with TechCrunch, Tetzchner mentioned that the upcoming EU regulations to open up Apple's iPhone and the App Store may allow Vivaldi to use its own engine in the future.

As for the app we have today, the first thing you'll notice is a tab bar that is similar to what you'd see on a Mac. "In most browsers on mobile, it’s difficult to keep track of many open tabs," the blog post reads. "But in Vivaldi, we have made it easy for you to view the tabs that are open and also switch between them without the hassle."

The desktop-like tab bar could look messy to some, but there's no denying its usefulness. The same goes for other features crammed into the app, including a dedicated search button, panels to house options, a reading list, and even somewhere to write notes. Vivaldi also has Speed Dials, which are basically bookmarks.

Vivaldi users on other platforms will see everything sync between devices, and there are built-in ad and tracker blockers for those keen to protect their privacy, too. All things considered, it's about as fully-fledged as you could want. Is it all too much? Check it out and decide for yourself.

Vivaldi is available as a free download in the App Store right now.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.