I'm old and inflexible, like an ancient tortoise or dried out clay, but when I discovered the Arc web browser I was an instant convert. Literally instant. I haven't used Safari, Chrome, or Firefox since.
I'm not exactly sure what they got so right that I switched so easily. Here's my favourite stuff:
- The front-and-centre search bar is nice. The suggestions in the bar are useful.
- The vertical tabs and folders layout is something I didn't expect to love, but I can see people disliking it too. I know it isn't new-new, but the implementation is excellent. The folder implementation is awesome.
- Split views come in handy a lot more than I thought they would.
- The ability to quickly switch between "spaces" is awesome. Another not-totally-new thing which is done so well that it feels new.
- Little Arc, a minimal window version of the browser, is a really nice lightweight accompaniment to the primary browser when you only need to quickly peek at a link from within another app.
- Autoarchive saves me from myself. I rarely even remember what it cleared away. I don't need to see what I mistakenly thought was relevant yesterday. If I can't remember it today, it doesn't matter. Get rid of it. Thanks, Arc.
- It looks great. It's minimal without sacrificing anything at all. That's hard to do. They have some talented people working there.
Maybe it's the sum of all of these parts. I think what impresses me most is how intuitive and easy these features were to find despite the UI being fairly trimmed back by default. I didn't need to dig deep, I haven't had to wonder how to do anything, and when I've encountered new features I didn't need to think too hard to start using them. They're bringing fresh form and function to a stale software category.
Something else that inspires a lot of confidence and appreciation is how hard they work on it. Updates are frequent, and they're often meaningful updates. They communicate clearly. It's a browser that feels like someone cares about it. It isn't a utility manufactured exclusively to get people to use Google Search.
I don't often like software enough to write about it, but here I am. What an awesome take on the web browser. I hope they succeed and keep at it.
If you're an arc user and you think YouTube shorts are trash like I do, here's a great "boost" from the Browser Company themselves: No YouTube Shorts Plz.