Just before 2021 ended, the Polestar 2 got a nice new update in the form of a built-in web browser. The Vivaldi browser is one of the first in-car apps of its kind and the first one developed specifically for the Android Automotive OS that’s rolling out in Polestar vehicles. A browser was among the top requests from Polestar drivers and since the Polestar 2’s release, there hadn’t been one available on its infotainment system. A month after its introduction, an update has been released for the browser dubbed Vivaldi 5.0.
“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,” says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. “Now there is basically no limit to the web content you can explore in the Polestar 2 — even some of your favorite streaming platforms.”
The Polestar 2 is the first car to use the Vivaldi browser and is the result of Vivaldi Technologies’ collaboration with Polestar and Google. Vivaldi values transparency, privacy, and responsible innovation. Like Polestar, it’s based in a Scandinavian country with its headquarters in Oslo, Norway. The company says its design approach will be based on trust and listening to its users. Developed specifically for the Polestar 2, the Vivaldi browser is housed in the car’s main 11.0-inch portrait-style touch screen and features full functionality similar to what you’d find on a mobile device. You have tabbed browsing, streaming capability, online shopping, and the highest security measures all included when you download the app into your vehicle.
Vivaldi includes a built-in ad blocker, privacy-friendly translation tools, notes functionality, tracking protection, and encrypted sync functionality out of the box. When the car begins to move, streaming content will cut the video feed but continue the audio. Downloading files, however, isn’t available. Private browsing data isn’t stored in the vehicle and isn’t shared between devices using the same account or with Polestar.
The latest version called Vivaldi 5.0 gets a two-level tab bar to help you keep track of all the web pages you’ve opened without cluttering your screen. New tabs will pop up in a second row but stay hidden when they’re not in use. This latest update brings the in-car version in line with the others used on other platforms. The next update, which is coming in eight weeks, will roll out in sync with the mobile and desktop versions. Polestar 2s sold in the European, North American, and Asia Pacific regions are now available with the Vivaldi browser via the Google Play Store.
Polestar is the first brand to integrate Google’s Android Automotive operating system as its main interface for its vehicles starting with the Polestar 2. Its next vehicle, the Polestar 3 crossover, will get the latest version featuring a larger 15.5-inch main touch screen in a portrait-style orientation. That will be followed by a smaller compact crossover called the Polestar 4 and the flagship four-door grand tourer, the Polestar 5. Volvo Cars, one of Polestar’s parents, has also begun integrating Android Automotive OS to its vehicles initially available on the XC40 Recharge, it has expanded to every Volvo model for the 2022 model year.