Vivaldi browser 4.0 adds a mail client, calendar and RSS reader

Vivaldi, a Google Chrome challenger, rethinks the email client for the browser.

Chromium-based Vivaldi 4.0 is out and it features Vivaldi's new email client, an RSS feed and calendar, which has been in the works for years. 

The browser is one of the most important places for work and Vivaldi could now be a lot more useful for those who rely on email to get things done. 

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Vivaldi 4.0, released this week, brings an email client to the browser. It's in beta now but can tested and brings support for multiple IMAP or POP email accounts. Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner first aired plans for a Vivaldi email client in 2016.

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It has also revamped its setup process for the browser with an interesting flow. When installing Vivaldi 4.0, users choose between Essentials, Classic, and Fully Loaded. 

The Fully Loaded option includes its standard ad and tracker blocker, translations, as well as the new Vivaldi Mail, Calendar and Feeds client all in the browser. These features are all part of Vivaldi Mail; the other two options lack Vivaldi Mail. 

Vivaldi has built in some automation smarts to its browser email client and carries this out locally rather than on a remote webmail server.  

"By automatically detecting mailing lists and mail threads, automatically categorizing your mail to make it easy to find, and offering a powerful search feature, Vivaldi Mail takes the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to enjoy your mail experience again," von Tetzchner said. 

Given that the email client's capabilities are all local, users can set email filters that are consistent across email accounts. 

Vivaldi released its built-in email client late last year in technical preview. The idea of an email client has roots in Opera, the browser maker von Tetzchner previously headed up.  

He says he built Vivaldi in order to provide a browser with a built-in email client and to give users a route to avoiding Google services. 

"The basic principle of mail is that you can have a mail client and a mail server or service that can come from different providers. There is a protocol between the client and the server meaning that you are not locked into using the same provider for your mail client and your mail service," he explains.  

"Vivaldi Mail aims to solve the problem of having multiple mail accounts and a lot of mail."   

There are a few nifty features Vivaldi has added to its browser email client as well as some for power email users. When deleting a message, it keeps a local copy in the laptop's trash folder and keeps it there until the folder is emptied. 

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Vivaldi also takes a different tack to creating a new email. Instead of opening up a new message in the same tab like in Gmail, it opens the new message in a new tab. This design choice was made to make it easier to switch between multiple email messages. 

Users can queue up emails they've written but don't want to send yet by clicking the arrow icon next to the send button. 

There are also different color flags for highlighting important emails and the client doesn't store emails in particular folders, so users don't need to search between folders for the email they're looking for. 

Finally, it features Unseen emails and Unread emails. 

"This is a useful way of collecting all your unread messages. Once read, the mail can be marked as read and will disappear from this view. Not to worry, they remain in the Received view for you to access later. This works perfectly as a to-do list," explains von Tetzchner.