April 23, 2024



I love Arc

There was a time when I was so deep in Chrome world I couldn't imagine switching to another browser, but that day has come. I've fallen in love with Arc, and I've made the switch. As someone who's always eager to try new tools, it's rare for me to find one that's such a delight to use. Many companies claim their product will revolutionize the way you do this or that. It's a great aspiration, but they seldom deliver. Arc, on the other hand, has genuinely changed the way I interact with my browser.

From an organizational standpoint, Arc is a game-changer. Let's take a quick tour of the Arc sidebar to highlight the key differences. The core concept revolves around distinct static and ephemeral tabs. At the very top of the sidebar are the constants—sites I always want to access quickly. Below are items specific to a workspace, and at the bottom are the ephemeral tabs that Arc automatically archives after some time. This approach results in a much more streamlined experience compared to the endless clutter of tabs that used to plague my Chrome window. While it's possible to declutter your Chrome experience with some effort, Arc's defaults naturally guide you towards better organization.

What I love most about Arc is its extensive keyboard support. With a simple keyboard shortcut, I can summon a search bar and have the world at my fingertips. From there, I can search the web, navigate back to an open tab, split the window, or start a new note. Another shortcut allows me to toggle the sidebar, closing it when I need a bit more screen real estate and opening it when I need to glance at a tab name.

Arc's design sense is top-notch, with attention to detail rarely seen out of companies not named Apple. From the color palette to the icons and animations, this stunning visual appeal is a testament to the team's dedication to creating a truly exceptional user experience. Like Apple, Arc gets a lot of the small things right. That adds up, and you start to notice in other applications where interactions aren’t as crisp as they could be.

The Browser Company of New York, the company behind Arc, has a name that evokes strong Gilded Age vibes and hints at their ambitious goals. Their latest ad campaign takes this ambition even further, positioning Arc not merely as a new browser but a new computer. It’s a company with chutzpah. In announcing their partnership with Perplexity, adding them as a default search engine option, Josh Miller, the CEO of Arc, set aside some time to take potshots at Google.

The team's audacity extends beyond their marketing strategy and into their technical choices. Building a browser on Windows using Swift is no small feat, and it showcases their commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries. I like Swift, and always thought it was unfortunate that there was little support for using it to build anything outside of the Apple ecosystem, so this a great development.

This spirit of innovation is also reflected in Arc's constant updates. Every few days, a little notification pops up in the bottom left corner, reminding me to update, and when the browser restarts, another prompt appears with link to the list of changes. It's a subtle but effective way to keep users engaged and excited about the ongoing improvements and new features being added to the browser.

Not content with just revolutionizing the desktop browsing experience, The Browser Company also recently released Arc Search on iOS which features a cool “Browse for me” feature. While I have some concerns about where this leaves website publishers, it’s an interesting experiment in what the future of browsing might look like.

Download Arc here.