The Next Evolution in Search: Introducing Arc's AI-Enhanced iPhone Browser

  • Jan 29, 2024
  • Sofia Martinez
The Next Evolution in Search: Introducing Arc's AI-Enhanced iPhone Browser

Last year, The Browser Company launched a new tool for iPhone users, allowing them to save links via an app that would later be accessible on their desktop. Now, they've taken another leap by releasing the Arc Search app, revolutionizing how we conduct searches on our phones.

Arc Search's standout feature, "Browse for me," ushers in a new era of searching by generating a complete web page loaded with information based on your search query. Leveraging AI technology from OpenAI, among others, the app synthesizes data from at least six websites to create a page that includes various relevant sections.

For example, if a user searches for assistance on making a perfectly poached egg, Arc Search constructs a comprehensive page featuring segments like "Ingredients and Tools," "Poaching Technique," "Cooking Process," and extra tips. The interface enhances the user experience with a mix of helpful images and videos.

The app also delivers when it comes to providing concise summaries. When inquiring about Apple's App Store modifications due to the Digital Markets Act, Arc Search presents a web page capturing the essence of the tech giant's announcements, even if it doesn't cover every detail.

These AI-curated pages allow users to swiftly absorb information. For curious minds wanting to delve into the topic further, there's a "Dive Deeper" section brimming with additional links about the subject. Presently, the only way to share these tailored pages with friends or colleagues is by taking a screenshot, as direct sharing isn't available yet.

Arc Search doesn't force users to rely on its AI capabilities; one can easily revert to classic search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia with a simple tap—whichever is their chosen default.

Just last week, the company revealed that users could set Perplexity as the default search engine on Arc's desktop version. However, it remains unclear whether this integration will extend to the mobile app.

Additional perks include a reader-friendly mode for all web pages, easing the reading experience, and the ability to bookmark pages. However, the bookmarking system lacks a way to organize saved pages into folders.

More so, Arc Search tackles tab management by archiving unused tabs after one day—a customizable feature—to prevent tab congestion. The open tabs can be browsed through a tab switcher or by swiping from the phone's left edge.

Arc Search also offers unobtrusive browsing by blocking GDPR notifications, newsletter pop-ups, and ads and trackers automatically. Different from its initial companion browser, this app can be set as the iPhone's default browser.

CEO Josh Miller of The Browser Company elaborated on their innovative approach, describing an intention to streamline web searching on phones, which often involves quick look-ups. Placing a search bar front and center that greets users with a keyboard ready for immediate input underpins this vision.

The new app strives to give the impression of consulting an AI assistant who takes on the task of sifting through information, synthesizing it, and presenting it neatly. This is reminiscent of what users might encounter with Google’s Search Generative Experience or Perplexity AI. Arc Search aims to fuse the concept of summarization and user guidance into one seamless package.

Looking ahead, Arc Search isn't replacing its link-saving mobile app just yet but plans to amalgamate both browser variations eventually.

Moreover, the team is developing an arc-exclusive syncing feature as they prepare to expand the availability of their Windows client. According to Miller, they can't depend solely on iCloud, hence the development of this new syncing solution, which is set to launch soon.

Arc has a history of using a waitlist for access to their clients, dropping the approach for the Mac version only last year. The Windows client, still in beta, continues this practice. But with Arc Search, they intended for an effortless user experience without the need for an account, allowing immediate access to the browser.

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