back to article Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

It's been a while coming, but browser maker Vivaldi has finally released a public preview of its long awaited email client. "It arrives," wrote Vivaldi boss Jon von Tetzchner, "just ahead of Thanksgiving as a way of saying 'thanks for waiting'." And goodness, it has been a while coming. Back in 2015, the browser makers …

  1. Fonant
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic

    I've been stuck with the not-very-good Thunderbird for some time now. At last we can have databased emails, with all sorts of different views made possible.

    A simple one that I find extremely useful is being able to show all mail to/from a particular contact. Can't seem to do that in Thunderbird.

    Oh, and the Vivaldi Mail (M3) searches are indexed and nearly instant!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Fantastic

      Looking forward to giving it a test myself, but at least for MacOS I can recommend MailMate as having many similar features as M2 so it becomes a doddle to write a filter to, say, delete all e-mail from mailing lists that are more than a month old and which you weren't involved in.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      This is great

      In addition, Opera 12 was an excellent RSS reader and I feel like I've been fighting with Thunderbird (and Erinome for Firefox) for far too long

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: This is great

        Yes, like so many things in Opera, the RSS reader just worked. On MacOS Vienna is a good alternative.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Fantastic

      "A simple one that I find extremely useful is being able to show all mail to/from a particular contact. Can't seem to do that in Thunderbird."

      I'm probably misunderstanding what you want, but if I'm not, it's pretty easy in Thunderbird. If what you want is to show messages with someone particular in either the from or to addresses, can't you just do this:

      1. Open the message search feature (CTRL+shift+F).

      2. Change rule setting to "match any of the following".

      3. Add a rule "To contains <the address you care about>".

      4. Add a rule "From is <the address you care about>".

      5. Activate the filter and look at the results.

      Again, I assume I'm just misunderstanding your goal.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic

        Thunderbird has got round to adding filters? It's even easier in Opera Mail and MailMate: click on address, rename, save and move to where you want it.

      2. mmccul

        Re: Fantastic

        Using Thunderbird 78, I've just done this for a while.

        In the search bar (^K), type in the email address of the person I'm looking for, after a few characters, it suggests the person, click on that, it brings up the filter screen of all emails involving that person. No need to create a custom smart filter temporarily if you just want emails involving an individual. Being able to quick filter in my various IMAP folders is nice as well.

    4. overunder Silver badge

      Re: Fantastic

      "... show all mail to/from a particular contact."

      I know Thunderbird could back in ~2008. Hell, it could do that and move all mail to a certain directory from specific contact (this isn't very amazing). I haven't used it in over a decade, but I specifically used it for that very purpose to archive mail from Yahoo.

      Thunderbird is actually very good, but I in no way need a full client for any of that anymore, not to mention most (all?) mail clients are too intrusive or at the very least too predictive/assuming. I like to see the e-mail addresses by default, not just the contact name "Account Alert" (which comes from ass809080aa08a0f8w08@jasojasdf.tk).

  2. Fonant
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic

    The new M3 (Vivaldi mail) needs quite a lot more work, but it's already extremely capable and powerful.

    List all the messages to and from a contact, without needing to search!!

    Looking forward to ditching Thunderbird as soon as I can :)

    1. Fonant
      Thumb Down

      Re: Fantastic

      Arghh! The Register needs to fix it's commenting system. I got an error saying that my message Body was required. So I posted again...

  3. Lee D Silver badge

    5 years!

    And we're nearly back to being able to import my Opera pre-v12 mailboxes!

    Or are we? Seems to be very shaky still given their comments and the GMail problems.

    It's alright, lads, I've only got 15 years of email in there and been unable to use anything but old-Opera for the last 5 years, no rush or anything!

    This was the selling point of Vivaldi, which until now has been nothing a Chrome clone with tiny UI tweaks. It literally does almost NOTHING that the old Opera did.

    Honestly, lads, I clung on purely out of sheer respect for the CONCEPT of an Opera-like browser after Opera became YetAnotherBrowser and ripped out all the unique characteristics. Vivaldi promised them back, so I jumped on board. And it's FIVE YEARS until a significant one reappears. Unless you count that stupid "light up your wall the same colour as your webpage" junk, the fact you've changed program icons no less than four times (and announced it like it was some huge Changelog-worthy item), or actually being able to drag bookmarks around on the bookmark bar (which took THREE YEARS to arrive).

    If you've messed up the email client, it's quite literally game over and I'll just go Chrome and suck my 20-years of mail archives into GMail, which I really don't want to have to do.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Windows

      I felt your pain

      My name is Bob, and I too hoard my digital past... but I recently read some of my old mail, the personal crap is just that. My professional messages from 15 years ago are irrelevant. Is ISA server even a thing still? We haven't had Exchange in 15 years, and will never go back.

      Sure it's nice to have, but do we want to be reminded of the bad break up with a SO, or the time Exchange crashed and the boss was pissed off. Now I think it's time to start deleting and emptying the trash!

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: I felt your pain

        My email is a veritable treasure trove of solutions, software licenses, downloads, URLs, contracts, documents, evidence, links, history, etc.

        There's a reason I keep it, and it's not that there are millions of messages in there. It's that I can find THAT ONE RIGHT NOW without having to worry about how to do that.

        Sure, I rarely refer to my 1997 Hotmail imports, but the point is that when I need to, it's right there. Everything from old school friends to orders to documents I wrote which are still relevant to catching people out when they say "That's not what we said". Personal, work, my old businesses I used to run, everything.

        And it's a great source of spam vs real email tagged properly, for classification purposes for training spam filters.

        Literally haven't deleted an email in 20 years. And literally use - and keep - Opera just for its insta-search across those 20 years of IMAP, POP, etc. accounts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I felt your pain

          I'm in the same boat. Minimalists ask "does this spark joy?". While my 20+ year enail archive does not in and of itself 'spark joy', I'm always happy when a key nugget of information shows up from my old emails.

        2. chivo243 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I felt your pain

          I found most links to resources were dead, HP, MS, Dell etc. A lot of companies are no longer the same name. As much as I hate to say it, I use google search at work, but DDG at home to find current links.

          Good luck with your quest.

      2. Fred Goldstein

        Re: I felt your pain

        You may have no use for old email but many of us do. A case I'm working on got a new attorney. Familiar name. I looked in the email archive -- old Eudora messages migrated to Thunderbird via a third-party app -- and there he was. Good background for rebuilding a relationship. And I could determine when I started working with our common client from the old email. So my 60 GB or old emails serves a purpose and Marie Kondo followers can go suck square-shelled eggs if they say otherwise.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    M3

    I wonder how it runs on the M1 chip? I can't wait until Apple releases the M5 and Gene Roddenberry's estate pounces! Right, back to the mail client... I'll kick the tires and give it a test drive.

    1. Soruk
      Coat

      Re: M3

      As any British driver knows, the M1, M3 and M5 do not meet. To get through all three you also need the M25, the A303 and the A30.

  5. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Being a Vivaldi user who thinks it is the best browser, I would love to use their mail client. Trouble is, we use Exchange on Office 365 at work, and it is locked down, so I have to use Outlook, whether I use the application/app or website.

    When I enquired about using the iOS calendar to hook up to exchange (which is something that was locked out when we upgraded to Exchange 365, I was told they would not be making the changes required as they felt security would be reduced.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Inexchangeable

      "Trouble is, we use Exchange on Office 365 at work"

      I have the same problem, sadly.

      Thunderbird works well as a mail client, but the add-ons needed to work (for some value of 'work') with non-standard Exchange calendars are somewhat variable (and seem to change from time to time, as yet another understandably exasperated developer passes on the poison chalice to someone else).

      In the end, I thought I'd give Evolution a try. It has Exchange support built-in (or as a well-integrated add-on package, anyway), and, although I rather hate to say it, it works very well (and the more lunatic fringe of Gnome development doesn't seem to have tried to amputate the normal menu, toolbar, etc, application format from it yet). Unfortunately, unlike Thunderbird, Evolution is only available for Linux.

      Does it make sense to have three teams all trying to develop an independent mail client (Thunderbird, Evolution, and now Vivaldi), and with probably limited resources? Maybe this is somewhere where they should all pool together? (I guess there would be a bit of a Gecko/Chromium HTML engine issue to argue over, though (not sure what Evolution uses for that).)

      1. gobaskof

        Re: Inexchangeable

        I have the same problem and as a Linux user I only have access to the web app of outlook and it is totally unusable for my constant stream of work mail. Personally not a fan of evolution, but I have been pleasantly surprise with how robust DavMail has become (in the past it was pretty dodgy on calendars).

        With DavMail everything works in Thunderbird, including address book, and amazingly the meeting planner view with other people's calendars. DavMail opens up the option of any IMAP/SMTP/CalDav/CardDav/LDAP client.

      2. captain veg

        Re: Inexchangeable

        Same here, Evolution with the EWS plug in on Linux. It would be nice to have a non-Microsoft client on Windows too, but I haven't found one. Typeapp on Android works fine, but the Windows port doesn't.

        -A.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Jolly good show!

    "Assuming, of course, one can get Gmail integration working. We had a crack at it and failed pretty much at the first hurdle with a blocked message from Google."

    The more opportunities to cut Gmail off from the world at large the better. Would you use a postal service you couldn't trust not to open all your letters and parcels in transit?

    Nobody has yet taken seriously the indisputable fact that if you use any of these "free" email services for business you're probably breaking European data protection law. Not only are you sending the personal data of your correspondents to a non-compliant ('third') country (USA), you're also forcing them to do the same if they want to reply to your emails. If the data are merely in transit through a third country the law doesn't apply, but as Gmail emails (and those of similar 'web mail' services) come to rest on retention servers in a third country, the law does apply.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Jolly good show!

      Google are one of the few providers who provide absolute guarantees about the location and processing of your data in the EU/UK, update your regularly and were GDPR compliant long before it happened.

      If you're gonna poke holes, then I'm afraid that EU/UK DPA is the last thing you could point at Google. And nobody has yet found anything to the contrary, even Google insiders, so you'll have a really hard time proving that it was happening slyly without other people's knowledge.

      P.S. the latter situation is a literal description of all international email.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jolly good show!

        Google's scanning of email content for advertising purposes is definitely against data protection law. If I send someone an email, I don't consent to have it read by someone else (even if it is a computer program), and in Google's case it is also very likely used to populate a shadow profile about me (have you noticed how many websites now also require Google Captcha on their login pages as well, which are often also tied to your email address, I am sure there is dot-joining going on there too), not to mention being shared with people in dark glasses and long overcoats...

        1. jemmyww

          Re: Jolly good show!

          Google's little foray into into reading emails for ads was ended quietly in 2017. They no longer scan them for advertising purposes. And it was never done for paid accounts.

          Actually when you send an email you do consent to having it read by someone else, especially computer programs. Otherwise it'd never get to it's destination. Oh the body? Well how do you think all those spam and security scanners work?

  7. Steve Graham
    WTF?

    I've been using Vivaldi as my main browser for a couple of years now, but why would I want an email client in it? What next? A word processor? A C compiler?

    1. cookieMonster
      Joke

      Sorry, are you talking about the browser or emacs?

  8. tip pc Silver badge

    how do they make money?

    how do they make money?

    they offer the product for free so how do they pay for the developers to convert chrome into vivaldi?

  9. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4

    Speed

    If it's as slow to load emails as it is to load web pages, I'll stick to Thunderbird.

  10. brotherelf
    Boffin

    :squint: What's the data flow here?

    I'll be the first to admit I've manually IMAPped about once or twice in my life, but there was no place in the communication where I would even have been able to transmit an user agent.

    So what's the data flow? App takes developer token to request to let end-user generate an app-specific transient IMAP passphrase? Which yes, is safer, because it can be revoked separately from other login credentials.

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