This new browser feature makes it easier for you to take a break from the internet

Chromium-based Vivaldi browser adds a new 'break mode' to help you switch off or hide sensitive info when interrupted.

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The Vivaldi browser has added a feature that helps users disconnect from the internet faster.

Like many software companies, the makers of Chromium-based Vivaldi are thinking of ways to help users respond to remote working that impinges on life at home.

To further this goal, Vivaldi version 3.3 for the desktop includes a "Break Mode" that's specifically designed to help users stop web surfing – at least for a while. That's an unexpected choice considering much of the software industry is built on the idea that user engagement, reflected by daily or monthly active users, is a gauge of success.  

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Triggered by the new pause button at the left corner of the Vivaldi browser's status bar, Break Mode mutes and stops HTML5 audio and videos, hides all tabs, panels, and other content leaving the screen clean. Alternatively, Break Mode can be activated with Quick Commands or its shortcut Ctrl + "."

"Once the browser is paused, you can interact with the physical world – communicate with colleagues or loved ones, make a phone call, jot down those creative ideas on a piece of paper, exercise, take a power nap, or grab a cup of coffee in peace," Vivaldi explains.

When ready, users can resume their browsing activity exactly where they left off by pressing play to unpause and everything will be visible again and audio and videos will restart. As well as giving users a break, Vivaldi said the new feature could help hide browsing activity or sensitive information on the screen at once if interrupted by a colleague, or when you simply need to step away from the screen for a while. 

"For the millions of people working from home, the internet is always on. That may sound like nirvana for a browser company like Vivaldi – but in fact, it's alarming. People are more productive and happier when they take proper breaks and have a variety of experiences," writes Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner. 

"You can now take a break and put the Internet on pause to focus your attention elsewhere. We want to give you the tools to stay productive, but we also want to empower you to manage your time well and balance all the things that are important to you," said von Tetzchner, who is the co-founder of Opera.

The browser was snapping at the heels of Mozilla Firefox in the early 2000s. He left Opera in 2011 and launched Vivaldi two years later. 

"We are not concerned about users not spending enough time in the browser. But being online all the time is not really productive. We care about our users. If they take breaks regularly, they'll be more productive when they're using Vivaldi, and this is the core of why we're building the browser. The feature does not discourage users to use Vivaldi. Instead, it helps them to manage their time better," von Tetzchner told ZDNet.