What is Arc Web Browser? A Guide to Its Upcoming Windows Release in 2023

Edmund_McGowan
edited December 2023 in Design

Your web browser is a window to everything on the internet. The various buttons, toolbars, and bookmarks, all contained within a rectangular frame, control how we interact with websites. As you read this, you may be using Chrome, Firefox, or even Safari or Opera. Chances are you don’t think too much about your web browser. Like an old car, it is what it is and it gets you to where you need to go.

Your web browser lets you visit and interact with various websites, send and receive emails, as well as view multimedia content and download the files you need. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But let’s consider for a moment, do you ever feel constrained by your web browser, or overwhelmed by content? In this article we will discuss a reimagined alternative to traditional web browsers: Arc Browser. Read on to discover more about this customizable, innovative web browser. 

What is Arc browser? 

Arc web browser by The Browser Company is a web browser that is essentially its own operating system for the internet, integrating website browsing with a suite of pioneering features and built-in apps. Developed by New York based startup The Browser Company, Arc web browser was released for macOS and iOS in April 2022. You may be wondering, does Arc browser work on Windows? Well, PC users, don’t despair, a Microsoft Windows version of Arc is due for release this December, ramping up in early 2024. Arc web browser download for MACOS 12.1 and later is free, but requires users to create an account and log in to experience the browser.

What’s the history and purpose of the development of Arc?

The Browser company was founded in 2019, with the goal of creating a functional, playful and human operating system (OS) for the internet. Traditionally, browsers have acted as a tool to access the internet without getting in your way, but not offering too much more. Operating systems meanwhile are neatly integrated into the workings of your computer. Before we discuss the innovative features of Arc browser, let’s consider common gripes with traditional web browsers. 

Is your browser insufficient for your internet workflow? Perhaps you have experimented with different browsers, trying to address common pain points such as tab overload, difficulty multitasking, or even the design and aesthetic of the browser itself.

At their core, traditional browsers have maintained the traditional structure and functions of their ancestors. An address bar at the top of the page, tabs spread across the window, and similar navigation buttons and multitasking options. As you type, and open new tabs, the icons in the tab row at the top of my browser grow smaller and smaller, until it is hard to differentiate between them, like a mass of minuscule scales on a fish.

What are the features of Arc browser?

While we await the imminent release of Arc browser for Windows, Arc browser reviews for its macOS and iOS version have been generally positive. Many users have already converted to using Arc as their default browser, citing it as “the Chrome replacement I’ve been waiting for.” Arc features an ad blocker and promises not to sell your data, and does not employ cookies. Arc is designed to empower users, by thinking as quickly as us, taking work off of our plates and pulling our creativity forward.

Sidebar

The first striking feature of Arc is the sidebar. This vertical revamp of the traditionally horizontal taskbar relocated all of the buttons and items to the side of the screen, allowing the web page to have the lion’s share of screen space. The sidebar addresses the pain point of tab congestion, cleverly dividing your tabs into three parts to about the dreaded tab overload:

  • Pinned favorite tabs are at the top of the sidebar 
  • Saved bookmarked tabs are conveniently accessible below your favorites 
  • Temporary tabs are beneath the bookmarks. These tabs are automatically archived, yes, this means they are closed every 12 hours.

Spaces

The usual solution to opening too many tabs is to open new browser windows. Users end up with clogged, confusing windows full of tabs. Arc offers an alternative: Spaces. These Spaces can be organized into separate areas according to theme and user profiles. Further simplifying the browsing experience, and increasing its ease of use, split view lets you work on several at the same time.

Split view 

Split view provides the opportunity to open as many as four tabs side by side, allowing you to maximize your multitasking, for example you can search, read, take notes, and watch a video simultaneously.

Easel

Note and Easel are also Arc features that encourage intuitive, seamless note taking during browsing sessions. A blessing for the visually inclined, easel has drawing and typing tools, and can also take screenshots. Once your easels are ready, you can share them for collaborative projects, or keep them private. Like many other features of Arc, the choice is truly yours.

Brimming with innovative features such as the live dashboard, Easel sets Arc apart from other browsers. Live dashboard is a way to organize your easels, allowing you to conveniently interact with any element that you wish to save. Easels are mood boards: spaces to save images and videos, as well as take notes and draw pictures. The live nature of Easels is unique in that saved parts of websites can be accessed in their live state, or their static state. For example, you could save details or a route for a journey that you need to take, and the live element will update prices and journey time when you access it again.

Zap

For a customized approach to website browsing, Arc provides a suite of integrated tools. Boosts can be used to totally customize your browsing experience by using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. For more casual users, the Zap control is a simplified update, allowing users to personalize the websites they choose, by changing fonts and colors, as well as removing sections of the website.  In addition to the above, Arc has many other user friendly, unique features, and promises more add-ons after its upcoming Windows release.

The takeaway 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this introduction to Arc web browser. If you feel that your browser could use a revamp, or a Spring clean, then consider Arc for a fresh start to 2024. You might be wondering if Arc is the right choice for you? If you are a victim of the dreaded tab overload, then liberate yourself with Arc! If you are looking to improve the organization and productivity of your online experience, then try Arc. What’s more, if you would like a customizable browser that feels more like an OS, and less like an outdated solution to an updated internet, then try Arc when it becomes available for Windows users in the near future.  

Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.

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