The Way Arc Is Innovating Browsers

Innovating Browsers

Since its release, Arc has received an overwhelmingly positive response from users and critics. Many have touted it as the next big thing in computer browsers.

So, what is Arc?

Arc is a new freeware browser released by The Browser Company in 2023. The browser was first released on macOS. Soon after, a standalone browser was released for iOS with a Windows beta version, in April 2024.

Let’s take a look at my picks for the five best features and my experience with the browser.

5 Best Features of the Arc Browser

User Interface





My Experience With Arc

5 Best Features of the Arc Browser

After using Arc for a few weeks, here are some of the reasons it stands out above the competition.

  1. User Interface

The way visual elements are laid out in Arc is a lot different from what you expect to see in a browser. However, the way they are placed makes them much more efficient to use. The UI is extremely clean and minimalistic.

No part of the interface has any clutter or confusion. The browser’s design language makes sure that you always stay focused on the web pages you’re browsing. 

Clicking on a link in a webpage leads the user to a popup window instead of a new tab. This allows users to read the content and click out of the window to go back to the main site. This might not sound like much, but if you have ADHD or you get easily distracted, this will save you some time. 

  1. Favorites

Towards the top of the vertical tab in the Space, you can find the Favorites section, which allows you to drag a tab for easy access. 

Although this is very similar to bookmarks in other major browsers, its implementation in Arc is truly useful as it allows you to add and remove the tabs whenever you want.

This is also very different from pinning tabs. When you pin a tab, it’s always open and allows you to access them whenever you want. Favorites in Arc are like a visual bookmark, which you can add to a Space.

  1. Spaces

You might be confused about the mention of Spaces in the previous heading, so let’s talk about them.

Space follows the same idea as workspaces from other browsers. In Arc, Spaces are separate browsing areas created for different contexts. Every Space has its theme, icon, and pinned and unpinned section. Arc’s Spaces are perfect for making groups of tabs for separate workflows.

For example, you can create a Space for entertainment where you can have things like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. Another Space can be dedicated to work, housing links like Google Docs, email, and Notion.

I work with a lot of Spanish clients so it’s nice to have a dedicated Space where I can have everything Spanish-related while the rest of my Spaces can have all the English websites.

  1. Library

The Library in Arc allows you to store specific stuff that can be accessed right from the browser.

The sidebar pops out whenever you need it. It includes media files, downloaded files, notes, and easels, which are like a board you can draw on. This also includes archived tabs, which contain the tabs you closed recently.

The Library also contains Boosts, which are small apps you can install that allow you to customize features of Arc or specific websites.

However, the Windows version of Arc doesn’t have this feature for now.

  1. Boosts

Although I briefly talked about Boosts above, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how fun they are to use. 

Essentially, Boosts has two main features. The first allows you to change the color and font on a page, and the second allows you to hide different parts of a page. This allows the user to make the text bigger than normal, force dark mode on a website, hide annoying parts, and much more.

Although Boosts work well, they aren’t perfect yet. I often ended up making some websites look worse when trying out the feature. For advanced personalization, you also need an understanding of JavaScript and CSS. 

My Experience with Arc

When I first launched Arc, I was surprised by how polished its interface looks. However, the speed crash is an instant mood killer. I constantly noticed slowdowns with the interface on my Windows PC. But, my experience on an M2 MacBook was relatively smooth.

The transition from a Chromium-based browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge might be jarring at the start. The newer features mean that there is a little bit of a learning curve so, it will take you some time to get a hang of it. 

The Spaces feature was something that just felt right to use. I created multiple spaces: Personal, Work, Spanish, and Entertainment. This helped me keep my work and personal life separate.

The Netflix experience is amazing on this browser as Arc allows me to essentially hide all elements without needing to go full screen. 

I noticed a lot of internet lag in the beginning, and to try out my recently-learned Spanish skills, I talked to the Cox en español customer support who told me to use a wired connection which helped fix it. I’m not sure if this is an issue with Arc or Windows but WiFi performance with this browser isn’t that great right now.

Wrapping Up

Arc doesn’t feel like another reskin of a Chromium browser which helps it stand out in a sea of a million other browsers. However, this new browser might not be for everyone, especially at this early stage of development.

Still, I recommend giving it a try and see if you like it. Arc has a mobile and desktop version with great syncing, which can be great for users who often find themselves switching devices for browsing.

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