back to article Vivaldi email client released 7 years after first announcement

Browser maker Vivaldi's email client has finally hit version 1.0, seven years after it was first announced. Vivaldi Mail, which includes a calendar and feed reader as well as an email client, first arrived in technical preview in 2020. A slightly wobbly beta arrived last year alongside version 4 of the Chromium-based browser. …

  1. Philip Storry
    Meh

    I loved the Opera mail client

    But that horse has long gone, and the stable door can't be closed because the stable has fallen into disuses and since fallen down.

    Now I do most of my email via apps on tablets and phones, or via webmail. I do fire up Thunderbird at least once a week - but only to then back up my emails. Frankly I need to set up some kind of script to do that instead sometime...

    A binary email client in 2022 just feels like a throwback. I wish them well, but I can't see myself switching unless this mail client is so good that it outweighs the convenience of apps & webmail.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Does it import Opera's mail? Asking for a friend.

      *cough* I may still have a copy of Opera handling my email... *cough*

      1. fredds

        Re: Does it import Opera's mail? Asking for a friend.

        Loved Opera and its mail client. Had been using it for 20 years until my computer was destroyed in a house fire. Nothing else comes close.

    2. Lee D

      Re: I loved the Opera mail client

      Same.

      I championed Vivaldi purely because they were supposed to be doing the email client, and it's just far too late.

      For the majority of that 7 years there was NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of it, even when asked.

      I'm still not even sure whether/if it can import my old Opera mailboxes properly with 20+ years of email in them.

      But having had to find an alternate for SEVEN YEARS, it's really too late now.

      But, hey, in that time they updated the application icon for Vivaldi about 6 or 7 times and kept adding junk nobody wanted to the Start Screen, and took years to get to the point where you could drag-drop bookmarks around in it.

      Irony is: 7 years ago I would have PAID for what current Vivaldi is, with the Chrome engine of that day, and an email client even vaguely usable at that time.

      1. segfault188

        Re: I loved the Opera mail client

        Another Opera mail user here. When the technical preview of the Vivaldi email client came out I tried to import 10+ years worth of email from Opera. The import only worked partially and on the forum Vivaldi staff didn't seem to regard a working import mechanism to be a priority.

        I'll give it another go in case they have sorted the issue, but unless *all* the email is imported this time I'll be sticking to good old Opera. I still prefer folders on Opera to the filters on Vivaldi anyway.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: I loved the Opera mail client

          Vivaldi staff didn't seem to regard a working import mechanism to be a priority.

          Sometimes it seems as if the whole software industry has developed a culture of "we know what we want and you should want it too so that's what we're going to give you". And it's across the board, free and proprietary.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: I loved the Opera mail client

            I think it's the Agile thinking. Get out an MVP and anything else can wait for a later spring. Much later.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: I loved the Opera mail client

              Dammit sprint, not spring. Although spring next year or a few more years after that does fit the approach.

            2. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: I loved the Opera mail client

              Singing from the same hymn sheet here... At the very least, make sure the minimum viable product is something that works properly. Anything else just makes it a proof of concept or a demo.

          2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: I loved the Opera mail client

            "Sometimes it seems..."

            Only sometimes?

            The innate culture of IT development for the last thirty-odd years has been developer comes first. In reality, perhaps the last time the customer really came first was LEO?

      2. wintergirl

        Re: I loved the Opera mail client

        There were also at least two years where the mail client was in private beta for selected users, so the Vivaldi forums had the occasional "I get to see it and you don't, nerny ner, don't ask about it again" type posts.

  2. Tams

    Old Man

    Maybe I've prematurely aged quickly, but why on Earth would you want to rely on Teams, Slack, or any other *instant* messenger?

    I mean, sure, they have private messaging functions and the ability to send files so it's not 'chat' like, but it's still pretty 'chat' like. Not to mention proprietary.

    Email on the other hand... there's just something about it that makes it better for leaving around for a while (if you want), rather than needing an immediate or quick response.

    But maybe I'm just a dinosaur.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Old Man

      Hello fellow dinosaur! We've not yet gone extinct, despite what the hip kids say...

      Yes, you can use video conferencing solutions for asynchronous one-to-one communications, much like you can use a clothes iron as a hammer, the sole interest is that those apps are terribly trendy in 2022, while email has long gone out of fashion. And you wouldn't want to be seen dead using such an uncool program, would you. You'd look terminally unstylish.

      BTW, about being proprietary: They obviously are, because of lock-in: If you can't escape, you're easier monetizable. General, open standards prevent monetization.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Old Man

        Yep, nobody uses email, except, er, anyone who wants to book a doctor's appointment, confirm a delivery date, get their flight booking, and a myriad other things that are actually important as opposed to ephemeral chat (which of course, has to be encrypted).

        1. John 104

          Re: Old Man

          @Niel Barnes

          You forgot real work. We have teams at work and it's great. It really is. Good for a quick message or call. But if I want to engage with people outside my organization, it's email. Always. Leaves an audit trail that is easy to search, and no one can say they didn't get it if I can produce their reply, etc. It's here to stay.

          Whether Vivaldi is the answer. Hm. If it took them 7 years to develop this client, how long will it take for them to patch vulnerabilities or add new features? No thanks. But good effort.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Old Man

      I've never used Slack or Teams, but if it's like any other chat\comms platform, how the fsck do you find attachments back? I remember scrolling through days and days of Google chat something or other just to find an attachment, I couldn't search for it, because I didn't remember the name of the attachment. But with mail filed away nicely, I can usually locate stuff quickly.

      1. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Old Man

        We use Slack at my work (in academia). Slightly annoying (though infinitely preferable to Teams), but it has a place for fine-grained correspondence within a large organisation between heterogeneous and overlapping groups of different sizes.

        Finding attachments is about as easy/difficult as for email. Plus all correspondence is archived (if it's set up paid to do so).

        Having said which, email is most certainly alive and kicking in academia, for all the good reasons others have given - although, unfortunately, in my workplace this means Outlook, which is the Devil's Spawn(tm).

    3. GreggS

      Re: Old Man

      I was horrified by the fact that Virgin Media support now use WhatsApp to communicate. I'm no Luddite, but perleeaase....

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Man

      It's even worse than this !

      People, in my company, fail to configure notifications properly, and by default, teams notifies if **ANYONE** of the 80k employees post anything anywhere !

      So, end of the day, for those miserable souls, IM becomes in fact email, by which you answer to an "immediate" message, 2 days later.

      Those people, I never again use IM on them. Email is faster.

  3. Tony W

    Email matters

    You can't write off email, it's vital for a lot of people. If you're a freelance or sole trader, it's easy to amass tens of thousands of emails, any of which might need to be retrieved years later in the event of a dispute arising. Storage and backup need careful thought, and proprietary storage systems can make it a nightmare to transfer to a new platform. I started as a sole trader on the cheap with Outlook Express. When I moved to Outlook I discovered (too late!) that in the transfer, the names of senders were retained but their email addresses had been omitted, so it was impossible to write to a former contact. One of several MS email screw-ups over the years, so I now avoid their clients.

    Personally I like IMAP with folders in the cloud, so that I can access all recent emails wherever there is internet access. But I hate to be dependent on the internet and my email server working, so I use clients that synchronise the server folders with local ones. The client on my desktop also has separate local folders for archiving.

    I'm moderately happy with my setup but as I'm a Vivaldi browser user I'll certainly try their client - after a decent interval. With IMAP it's easy to try a new client so long as you're confident that it won't delete emails in error or screw up your folder system.

  4. VoiceOfTruth

    Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

    In the past there was Eudora (and Eudora Light). There was Netscape Communicator, which included Netscape Messenger. There was Outlook Express, which, while basic, was not at all bad for average home users. There were others too. Now what do we have?

    I use Macs more often than Windows these days, and UNIX on the side. Apple's Mail is horrible. It has a weird undeletable file called DataVaults under ~/Library/Mail/... This file cannot be rad by normal means. But there it is. MS Outlook is a just about OK email program. Its IMAP functionality is very limited, like it is was added as a preview of things to come. Well I hope they add a few more things, because at the moment it is like version 0.6.

    MS Outlook also has a nasty feature of wanting to "Sync with Microsoft Cloud" your non-Outlook.com email accounts, unless you click the toggle off. This is a huge security hole as it means that Microsoft has your plain text password for third party accounts. You don't believe me? I made the mistake this morning of not hitting the toggle after I added a new account. What do I see in the IMAP authentication logs? Connections from 52.125.139.31, which is Microsoft. You can't disable this after you have created the account. You have to delete the account, change the password on your IMAP server to something that Microsoft doesn't know, then recreate the account remembering to toggle the toggle. I am surprised that this has not been called out before. Be clear: Microsoft has your passwords in clear text to be able to do this, not hashes.

    At least on UNIX we have Sylpheed/Claws. An oasis of sanity in a desert of madness. I will give Vivaldi Mail a try. But isn't it odd now that the Internet can be considered a mature technology, we still have to hunt around for a decent email program?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

      Netscape communicator still lives, it's now called Seamonkey. Its client side is, I think, Thunderbird without the tweaked UI; Sylpheed appears remarkable similar.

      "But isn't it odd now that the Internet can be considered a mature technology, we still have to hunt around for a decent email program?"

      It is indeed. If this can do a good job of organising emails I might well switch. Pity the browser is Chrome based - I wonder how far it's been defanged.

      1. cheekybuddha

        Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

        >> I wonder how far it's been defanged. <<

        Pretty far!

        Vivaldi is well worth a look.

        Here is a link to some of their marketing stuff: https://vivaldi.com/blog/3-reasons-your-browser-choice-is-important/

        However, they do seem to be serious about it.

        (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated but have been using Vivaldi since 2015 and am replying using it now)

      2. Psy-Q

        Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

        It's defanged enough considering that sync is always encrypted with a master password you set and Vivaldi shouldn't be able to read any of it.

        Also, built-in adblock even on Android. It uses the same filter lists as everyone else and the "allow ads by our friends" feature can be switched off.

        And if you have Google set as search engine, Vivaldi suggests you try a more privacy-friendly one (with DuckDuckGo and Startpage mentioned explicitly).

        1. Tom Chiverton 1

          Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

          Thunderbird not an option?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

            Oddly enough when searching for a Vivaldi extension for a newsgroup or usenet client T-bird is offered and is, AFAICS the only one amongst the numerous entries that are not - such as torrent add-ons. But moving to Vivaldi for the embedded mail client makes a bit of a nonsense if one then adds another email client for other functionality.

          2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

            Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

            Last time I tried Thunderbird, it sent an email while I was writing a draft. Seven times. Fortunately it wasn't anything serious, but I went back to Mac Mail after that. It may not be as feature rich as Thunderbird but at least it hasn't gone completely hatstand on me (yet).

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

              By default, Thunderbird has keyboard accelerators enabled, there's a raft of easy-to-hit-accidentally keystrokes that will send, file, or otherwise disrupt your mail. First thing I do on any install is to disable them, which solves most such problems.

              1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

                Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

                That's all well and good, but it was sending the email not only as I was typing it but even if I wasn't. Three of the drafts were the same. All I could work out is that it was sending in a regular pattern of once every ten seconds or so. Very bizarre.

                I should point out that it sent the draft I was working on, while I was working on it - with no visible indication that it had done so.

          3. dvd

            Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

            I'd describe Thunderbird as the least worst email client. The OP is right. Email clients all have their own individual ways of sucking.

          4. 43300

            Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

            The big issue I have with Thunderbird is the single-line display in the list of emails. It's really archaic and most others have now moved onto three-line (sender, subject, begninning of first line) which is much more readable.

        2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

          And if you have Google set as search engine, Vivaldi suggests you try a more privacy-friendly one (with DuckDuckGo and Startpage mentioned explicitly).

          And this is the sort of thing which really, really, really pisses me off about the sanctimonious wing of the free software movement. They preach that I should be able to do what I want with my own computers, then whine at me if what I want to do is not what they think I should want to do. Fuck 'em.

          1. Michael Strorm

            You think the Free Software movement are the worst offenders here? *Seriously*?!

            Vivaldi is apparently proprietary despite being based upon Chromium (much like Chrome is).

            And I don't see any evidence that the free software movement is any worse for this than proprietary software.

            If anything, it's the opposite, with the latter presenting self-serving, self-promoting suggestions to the customer, and obvious and unsubtle "nudge" tactics.

            When free software does this sort of thing, it's often the result of a commercial imperative or business model based on free software (since the two aren't inherently exclusive).

            Regardless, you need your head examined if you think the free software movement is the worst offender stopping you from "doing what you want with your own computers".

            Remember that time Microsoft were practically trying to force upgrade Windows 7 and 8 users to Windows 10? They weren't just ignoring refusals (and frequently "forgetting" such refusals and asking again or even upgrading without asking), but going so far as to intentionally override software designed and installed to force MS to accept that refusal(!)

            That alone went beyond the remotest plausible benefit of the doubt, and that's before we even get into their use of "dark patterns", i.e. ignoring the standard Windows acceptance of the close button as an implicit "cancel" and instead treating it as "Confirm/OK" for the unwanted upgrade.

            Oh, and ask Apple about getting to do what you want with "your" hardware.

      3. VoiceOfTruth

        Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

        Yes! Seamonkey! It's not very prominent these days. Instead the dog's dinner that is Thunderbird receives attention.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

          I'm not sure how much if any difference there is between T-bird and the email client of Seamonkey except the UI but that indeed is a dog's dinner.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

      Switched to MailMate on MacOS a couple of years ago. It's the best around and is being actively developed.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

      For macOS well worth a look at eM Client

      1. 43300

        Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

        em Client is available for Windows too - I did use it for a while but found it to be a bit too buggy.

        Other than that, probably the best email client I've tried apart from Outlook (much as I would like to move away from Microsoft, Outlook does unfortunately remain the most usable email client).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

      Can recommend em Client, free version is fine for me at home.

      Also a macOS version (not used it)

      1. dvd

        Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

        I struggled with em client for over a year before abandoning it. It was sluggish, and would periodically hang, sometimes for minutes at a time, doing some sort of mysterious housekeeping. This persisted over multiple installs and multiple versions, and in spite of multiple interventions from support. It was torment.

        My suspicion was that the PC was a little underpowered. But, really, how much computer power do you need to talk to a server, download a few files and bung them in a folder structure?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    "displacing email as the communication tool of choice for many"

    Are you out of your mind ?

    Email is essential for business. You know, that thing that keeps the economy going.

    The economy. That thing that keeps Microsoft on top of OS usage.

    If you think business is going to switch to video conferences for confirming invoices, you have lost the plot.

  6. cookieMonster
    Windows

    BeMail

    Back in the day of BeOS they had the BeMail client, it stored the emails as files on the file system, combined with the file system it was super simple to use, filter and search, I really miss that.

    Icon: nearest to grumpy old man

  7. aerogems Bronze badge

    A good first effort

    I've tried the Vivaldi mail client from time to time, and it's definitely getting close to being able to replace Thunderbird for me, but it still lacks things like Reply To. Aliases still require that I manually select them every single time I send a message with a specific account. I look forward to Vivaldi's continued efforts on this front.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A good first effort

      I think that would be a problem for me. However, I can't even get that far with it. So far it hasn't successfully conducted a handshake with my MSP's server. I suppose it tests OK with their own server, gmail and hotoutlive.com

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A good first effort

        For some reason it now connects. It will set up some services it recognises from the email address. Otherwise you have to enter server addresses & the like. The display of server address truncates it although there is space for a few more letters in the box. Email address is similarly truncated in the server login ID field the truncation occurs at odd lengths, different for the two fields.

        The truncation makes troubleshooting harder. Accidentally include a trailing space in the copied address (I think that was the problem) and DNS fails. Having got that sorted I got SSL protocol errors. Trying a few hours later it finally worked with no evident changes. I'd exchanged emails with MSP support - maybe they changed something.

        Other oddities in the UI: it insists on adding a sig - choices are above or below the message but none is not an option. The default sig, as is all too common these days, is to pat itself on the back. The sig defaults to this in the text box; I couldn't delete it directly but I could overwrite it with a space and then delete the space.

        It claims to have custom folders. If there's a way to create them it's well concealed so I don't know if they're better than I'm used to and as this was the sole motivation for trying it that's a show stopper.

        From my PoV there seems to be a more work needed on the UI.

        It supports RSS news feeds but not newsgroups.

        Not for me.

  8. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Shame it's in the browser

    After seeing Vivaldi recommended here, I tried it for a couple of weeks. I really wanted to like it, and my initial impressions were pretty god. However as time went by I found it more and more irritating, quirky and incapable - many of the websites I use just didn't work, even though they were fine with Chrome.

    So with only a little regret I ditched it. The whole experience reminded me, perhaps unsurprisingly, of Opera which I tried many times on both OS/2 and Linux. Some interesting ideas, but terrible implementation and too much of a "Fuck you. We know what you want to do better than you do" attitude to users. I'll give it a couple of years and then try again ... as I said about Opera, time after time.

    1. wintergirl

      Re: Shame it's in the browser

      For me, the problem was speed, especially UI speed. I use new windows a lot to organise my browsing, rather than one window with a zillion tabs. Every new window opened, showed a Vivaldi logo for 2-3 seconds and then loaded the UI so I could get on with my work.

      I asked about it once on their forum, and one of those baffling people who doesn't work for the company but sits on company forums all day providing free "support" to users told me it wasn't a problem and that I shouldn't have asked. Their support channels are littered with "I've got problem X" / "that's part of Chromium and we can't change it" exchanges. I went back to Firefox, who for all their faults actually make their own browser rather than putting a wig on someone else's.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Shame it's in the browser

        I actually like Edge for Linux, which seems to have bewigged Chromium quite nicely.

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Calendar

    "Our current focus is on Desktop. We will have to see about Android, but clearly, that would be good to offer as well, but no promises at this time."

    I use TB on my desktop machines. I use outlook.com on my Android phone. My calendar syncs between them. This is my main focus here. The email is almost secondary to having my diary kept in sync on all my devices.

  10. Sparkus

    Time & Chaos / Intellect

    is reasonable good for local 'PIM' email and calendaring client.

    Decent backup save/restore/fix functionality as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time & Chaos / Intellect

      "is reasonable good for local 'PIM' email and calendaring client.

      Decent backup save/restore/fix functionality as well."

      Reading the reviews on the Download.com page that they point you too .... the program WAS good but now has lots of bugs etc.

      Think I will stick with Thunderbird for now .... base functionality works and data is easily accessed !!!

  11. Richard Pennington 1
    Coat

    Everything in its season ...

    Or in the case of Vivaldi, four seasons.

  12. Fazal Majid

    A good option for Linux user

    I doubt it will displace Mail.app on my Mac, but it's definitely something I will consider above Thunderbird on Linux.

  13. Zebo-the-Fat

    I have been using the Vivaldi browser for a couple of years now with no problems, for email I use postbox, it works well and I can access my emails even if I have no internet. I will try the Vivaldi email thing but unless it has something really special, I probably won't change

  14. Ross 12

    Still using Evolution on linux here. Webmail is handy sometimes, but the interfaces *cough*GMail*cough* are usually atrocious

  15. carl0s

    Does anyone who knows or cares actually use IMAP or POP anymore though? It's either ActiveSync or proprietary equivalent (iCloud, GMail), isn't it?

    I'm sorry did I just see a mention of Evolution? Christ almighty.

    Desktop email/pim is the one thing that is still a problem to replace i.e. if you'd like to find a Microsoft alternative. They have both the desktop app and the server solution pretty much locked in. For now at least. Webmail is getting close to a viable replacement. Just not quite there.

    I fairly frequently try to move away. I have used evolution since the very first paid-for exchange plugin, then the next one, and the next (mapi, ews, ActiveSync, etc). mapi-http is the latest iteration of the outlook protocol I think and evolution doesn't support it. Ews is being killed off on the server side.

    I tried SoGo with the exchange plugin.

    I donated to OpenChange, the exchange drop-in that was closely linked to samba. Think that's what SoGo worked with.

    I got excited for that postpath exchange drop-in that got bought out and then disappeared about 10 years ago. Didn't Google buy it and just take the brand name and use it for spam filtering or something?

    I tried to just use OWA recently (on Linux) but that failed too on the day to day.

    Ho hum.

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