When I reviewed the Polestar 2 last month, I highlighted that the car ran Android Automotive and this represented a great opportunity for additional functionality in the future.
It seems we didn’t need to wait long with a major addition to the Play Store, being announced today – The Vivaldi web browser is coming to the Polestar 2.
This is the first browser available for Android Automotive OS and one of the first full-featured browsers available in cars. Answering one of the top desires from Polestar owners, the inclusion of a full-scale web browser in the car allows people to browse the web as they might on their mobile devices.
Vivaldi aims to create new experiences at work, at home, and now even in cars. Vivaldi’s step into the automotive world is not only adventurous but also encourages the spirit of innovation and experimentation. An important milestone in the browser space, Vivaldi’s attributes help improve the driving and user experiences. Polestar drivers can simply go to Google Play Store in Polestar 2 and install the browser.
For those playing at home, the Vivaldi browser is built using Chromium, this means the way websites are rendered should be very similar to Chrome, Edge and Firefox, even if the UI and features are different.
We are really proud to introduce our browser to a car for the first time and specifically with a brand like Polestar. Our technological and sustainability ambitions are well aligned. We value transparency, privacy, and responsible innovation – including the fact that we have our servers in Iceland, one of Polestar’s newest markets. Like Polestar, we are a challenger brand, and we take a Scandinavian approach to design, that is based on trust and listening to our users,”Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO at Vivaldi.
Developed for Polestar 2 by the Vivaldi team in Norway, the app brings full browser functionality to the 11″ center display with Android Automotive OS in the car and functions similarly to how it would on a mobile device – with tabbed browsing, streaming ability, online shopping and top security measures.
The Vivaldi browser is built around flexibility and features a built-in ad blocker, privacy-friendly translation tool, notes function, tracking protection, and encrypted sync functionality.
- Safety first: To ensure safety, the browser can only be used when parked. Streaming content will continue audio-only if driving commences. Some restrictions may apply, for example, files cannot be downloaded.
- Privacy first: Private browsing data is not stored by the car. When logged into a Vivaldi account, browsing data may be shared between other devices logged into the same account. This data is not shared with Polestar.
We have listened to our owner community, and it’s great that we could answer their desire for a browser with Vivaldi as a nice Christmas present. Now there is basically no limit to the web content you can explore in Polestar 2 – even some of your favorite streaming platforms.”Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO
The Vivaldi browser for Polestar 2 is now available in all European, North American, and Asia Pacific markets. Vivaldi for Android Automotive OS will receive regular updates alongside its other supported platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android).
Vivaldi, launched in 2016, is a flexible, fully customizable browser that adapts to its users and offers more features than any other modern browser.
Vivaldi’s core mission is to build the most feature-packed, customizable browser, and they have two ground rules: privacy is a default, and everything’s an option. In practice, this means building software that protects users’ privacy, but also does not track how they use it. Vivaldi believes private and secure software should be the rule, not the exception.
Overall this is a great addition to the Polestar 2 and ultimately any other vehicles that decide to build on top of Android Automotive.
The Polestar 2 is scheduled for release in February 2022 in Australia but is already available in other parts of the world.