Working From Home? This Google Chrome Alternative Makes it Easier to Take a Break

The majority of web surfers use Google Chrome for their internet browsing needs, but there are plenty of alternatives to the tech giant's product, one of which is the Vivaldi browser. At four years old it's a comparative upstart, but it's turning heads with a new feature called Break Mode.

With a click of a button, the latest version of the Vivaldi browser lets you temporarily wipe your computer screen clean.

Putting the internet "on pause," is how the company describes it, but what the Break Mode feature actually does is hide all of your tabs and all of the content being displayed through your browser window, as well as mute and pause any videos that might be playing in the background.

Another click and everything will reappear again, and your media will restart from where you left off.

It sounds simple enough, but with so many of us currently having to work from home due to COVID-19, the line that divides work time from downtime has become finer than ever, and not everybody finds it easy to consciously move away from their computer or switch off or hide the display, in order to take a screen break.

Taking a break can be even more tricky if you don not have a home office, and have had to work from your bedroom or living room for the duration of the pandemic.

"'Unplugging'" from work is the top issue faced by many and the COVID-19 pandemic has only pressed the fast-forward button on remote work," Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner wrote in a blog post this week.

"Without a daily change of location and defined office hours, many people have a tough time dividing their personal and professional time."

It's a feature that differentiates Vivaldi from its rivals and the dominant Google Chrome, which according to StatCounter, has a more than 47 percent share of the U.S. market, ahead of Safari on 35 percent.

Vivaldi's current share of the market, by comparison, is negligible, despite the fact it is well-respected in tech circles, largely because of its trove of clever features, but partly because it claims not to track users around the web, and partly because it isn't Google, which does make money through its tracking of users.

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In this photo illustration, the logos of the applications, Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, You Tube, Google photos and Google are displayed on the screen of a tablet on October 23, 2018 in Paris, France. Google is a dominant force in the browser market, though there are plenty of alternatives available. Chesnot/Getty Images