Forget Chromium, Vivaldi runs flawlessly!
#1
Like many of you, I have been struggling to find a working browser for Mobian. Chromium was the most usable — until it wasn't. Half the time, it doesn't even load for me and I just get a gray screen.

On desktop, I use Vivaldi exclusively, which I would argue is the best browser ever made. I never had luck installing it on Mobian, because I couldn't find it in the right architecture. Well, If you go over to 'old versions' on their website, you can find a new, stable version of Vivaldi for Arm64.

After you install it, I would recommend you disable all animations, clean up the interface, and maybe find a tutorial or two on how to speed up Vivaldi. I would also go to developer tools (f12), click the three dots in the upper right, then go to more tools, network conditions, and under 'user agent' uncheck 'Select Automatically'. Then set the user agent to Chrome, Android Mobile (high-end). Then restart. This will cause far fewer sites to deliver the full desktop version of their site when you're browsing.

I'm still getting some horizontal scrolling on some sites, but luckily, Vivaldi has a zoom slider right in the status bar, so it's easy to tweak sites on a case-by-case basis.

Vivaldi also has an integrated mail client and calendar now, and they also work on Mobian. I haven't spent too much time with these, but they display at the correct scale, unline Geary and Gnome Calendar.
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#2
(02-26-2021, 10:42 PM)3x5co Wrote: Like many of you, I have been struggling to find a working browser for Mobian. Chromium was the most usable — until it wasn't. Half the time, it doesn't even load for me and I just get a gray screen.

On desktop, I use Vivaldi exclusively, which I would argue is the best browser ever made. I never had luck installing it on Mobian, because I couldn't find it in the right architecture. Well, If you go over to 'old versions' on their website, you can find a new, stable version of Vivaldi for Arm64.

After you install it, I would recommend you disable all animations, clean up the interface, and maybe find a tutorial or two on how to speed up Vivaldi. I would also go to developer tools (f12), click the three dots in the upper right, then go to more tools, network conditions, and under 'user agent' uncheck 'Select Automatically'. Then set the user agent to Chrome, Android Mobile (high-end). Then restart. This will cause far fewer sites to deliver the full desktop version of their site when you're browsing.

I'm still getting some horizontal scrolling on some sites, but luckily, Vivaldi has a zoom slider right in the status bar, so it's easy to tweak sites on a case-by-case basis.

Vivaldi also has an integrated mail client and calendar now, and they also work on Mobian. I haven't spent too much time with these, but they display at the correct scale, unline Geary and Gnome Calendar.
Have you tested the user agent string for leaks?
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#3
Never mind. I downloaded it. It's Chromium based. You can freeze the user agent in Chtome://Flags and install the extensions you need from the Chrome web store. It's usable and wont leak your user agent string if you do it right. Bit of a learning curve. Not sure what I think of it yet. Honestly, it's just Chromium with another skin.
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#4
It is based on Chromium, but I think Vivaldi does a lot of things better than Chromium. The interface is more customizable, so I can fit it to my mobian screen more easily. The original reason I switched is that you can disable all suggestions in the omnibar, which you can't do in Chromium.

I'm not worried about it leaking my user agent string. I've thought about running it through a VPN to protect my privacy and anonymity, if that's what you're worried about. I would imagine the Mobian footprint is pretty unique no matter what.
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#5
(02-27-2021, 08:47 AM)3x5co Wrote: It is based on Chromium, but I think Vivaldi does a lot of things better than Chromium. The interface is more customizable, so I can fit it to my mobian screen more easily. The original reason I switched is that you can disable all suggestions in the omnibar, which you can't do in Chromium.

I'm not worried about it leaking my user agent string. I've thought about running it through a VPN to protect my privacy and anonymity, if that's what you're worried about. I would imagine the Mobian footprint is pretty unique no matter what.

Actually with Chromium (or Chrome for that matter) if you set a null search engine as default I don't think there will be any suggestions in the omnibar. (I have not seen any in my desktop Chromium other than from browser history.) Of course you won't be able to search in the omnibar either, you have to go back to duckduckgo.com or whatever search engine you use.

I might give Vivaldi a spin nonetheless to see how it compares.
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#6
(02-27-2021, 08:47 AM)3x5co Wrote: It is based on Chromium, but I think Vivaldi does a lot of things better than Chromium. The interface is more customizable, so I can fit it to my mobian screen more easily. The original reason I switched is that you can disable all suggestions in the omnibar, which you can't do in Chromium.

I'm not worried about it leaking my user agent string. I've thought about running it through a VPN to protect my privacy and anonymity, if that's what you're worried about. I would imagine the Mobian footprint is pretty unique no matter what.

A lot has changed in the world my friend over the last year. Q: What is your User Agent String used for? A: Browser and device fingerprinting. Q: How can this hurt you? A: Some carriers use the User Agent String ID packets to go against your hotspot data quota if you have one. If your device is sending out desktop browser packets they assume you're using the hotpot. Q: What else does the User Agent String do? A: Some carriers use it to identify devices they don't want on their network. AT&T for example doesn't want Linux or rooted Android devices with custom de-Googled roms because they can't collect your data and see what you are doing. Once identified they black list the IMEI and send you a text telling you you your account is being deactivated because you are using a device not approved for their network. Q: Is the the Mobian device footprint unique? A: If the User Agent Strings are set correctly and not leaking your carrier, websites and even Google sees it as an Android mobile device. Don't sign in to any sites especially Google until all that is set up. Sign in for the first time from WIFI you use on other devices. It helps verify you to Google. Q: Will a VPN protect me? A: they use to and some still can, for now. Many VPNs have been bought out and merged with bigger companies and are keeping logs. VPN IP addresses are rapidly collected, updated and then you are throttled by your carriers to make them unusable. They want your data. They make money off of it. (and use it for other things). In other words, VPNs are slowly becoming useless. Q: Can you turn off the suggestions in the address omnibar in Chromium? A: yes, enter chrome://flags in the address bar. After it opens search for omnibox-suggestion-transparency-options and select Enable.
Q: Can I set up Web Apps in Vivaldi to make it easier to access my Gmail, Google Voice, Drive, Photos. Etc? A: No! Q: Is Vivaldi more customizable then Chromium? A: It is Chromium with a different skin. It uses the same themes and extensions. Q: is Vivaldi as secure as Chromium? A: No it does not get security updates as often os Chromium, however if you aren't signing in to important accounts, like Google, banking etc it's secure enough. Q: Who am I? A: I am a Google Product Expert on the back end of Google Fi (a T-Mobile MVNO) and Google Voice. I also work in Pixel device development and testing as well as other Google products. I am only telling you this so you don't think I am blowing smoke up your butt.
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#7
COffeeFreak, If we assume most Pine64 users are using Linux to reduce carrier/provider snooping, how do we learn how to "correctly set User Agent Strings" so we won't "leak [info] to our carrier, to websites and to Google (so Google sees it as an Android mobile device)?  This whole monster topic of security needs more discussion, because many of us are concerned.  [You also may have just unintentionally told me why my Verizon home network stops transmitting/receiving when I use a strong VPN!]  The world, indeed, is changing very fast.  :-(
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#8
(03-04-2021, 10:28 PM)Harry27 Wrote: COffeeFreak, If we assume most Pine64 users are using Linux to reduce carrier/provider snooping, how do we learn how to "correctly set User Agent Strings" so we won't "leak [info] to our carrier, to websites and to Google (so Google sees it as an Android mobile device)?  This whole monster topic of security needs more discussion, because many of us are concerned.  [You also may have just unintentionally told me why my Verizon home network stops transmitting/receiving when I use a strong VPN!]  The world, indeed, is changing very fast.  :-(

Harry27, the instructions to freeze the user agent and spoof it to Android using User agent manager in Vivaldi are identical to the way you do it in Chromium. Just follow those instructions in this thread I posted on Chromium.

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=13235
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