The company’s new web browser, Arc, is trying to adopt the standard and provide a new way to work on the Internet.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been granted access to the new Arc web browser. This is an interesting proposal in 2022, in 2023. There are browsers in the world, regardless of whether you have a favorite or not, you never think about it.
Not only using a particular browser instead of another, but also the actual basics of the browser. User interfaces, extensions, and the main engine on which they are based. You’re settling for something like Chrome simply because it transfers your passwords between devices.
It’s not what you think it is, but Arc has brought it all to the fore. Why did we use Firefox? Why not Opera or Safari?
What is the Arc Browser?
Created by The Browser Company, Arc is a new browser based on the Google Chromium engine. It works almost the same as any other browser, but prefers to focus on you, the user. It is filled with tools that allow you to achieve a balance between work and personal life.
This includes “Spaces” to separate your bookmarks depending on what you’re doing, and ways to “capture” parts of the internet for later use. Tabs and menus are shifted to the side, giving you an almost full-screen mode out of the box.
The future is for Chrome
There’s no getting away from Chrome. Google’s web engine is too rooted in the wider web as the default. Have you ever tried using Firefox with Google apps? He hesitates because now it’s an exception.
Even Microsoft has given up trying to create its own browser. Internet Explorer is dead, and Edge is now running under the Chromium hood. Brave, an open source privacy-oriented browser, also uses Chromium. Opera, a long-standing holdover of the alternative, uses Chromium.
Firefox and Safari don’t do this, but Safari has the advantage of working with WebKit. It’s the only engine that iOS runs on, which means that all other browsers have to stick to it, so all the different web apps have to stick to it as well.
Ark is no different. Chrome works on it. In fact, it’s Chrome in a new dress. Its advantage is that it is integrated into the Chrome ecosystem, and your profile can be transferred with just a few mouse clicks. When switching from Firefox, this meant a few extra steps for entering passwords and the like.
This is not a problem, but it’s scary how strong a stranglehold on browsers one company has. However, unlike Microsoft and Netscape Navigator in the past, this is a different struggle.
Given that all of this is under the hood, and now there are dozens of them available all over the world, it’s more like the Cold War than anything else.
We didn’t expect The Browser Company to generate and create its own browser engine, but for the revolutionary position it has taken, it’s quite funny to see it returning to its standard state.
What Arc does best is actually what it was originally designed for. Since most of our lives are connected with the browser and transferring profiles between computers, you can never really avoid work.
Sitting in a chair after a long day only to immediately receive an autocomplete offer to a regularly visited work-related website is perhaps an omission on the part of the society we live in.
Arc, while still struggling with this aspect, at least seems to be taking serious steps to ensure that there won’t be this intersection in your life.
The best implementation we use on a regular basis is Firefox. Mozilla’s browser has “containers” that allow you to efficiently run multiple instances of Firefox for different purposes. Its biggest problem is actually easily accessing these instances.
Since they work in tabs, if you don’t load the right container, you can work in the wrong one and infect your normal life.
With Arc, you can swap “Spaces”, which means you won’t get a job right away when you’re just trying to use the internet. This is something you don’t realize until you are offered an option. Work no longer haunts you over the internet, and your life does not interfere with your work.
Bookmarks, tabs and more can be shared. What is missing is the autocomplete in the search bar. It’s still littered with various things that we don’t want to see after a certain hour.
It’s not as bad as the full attack that Chrome and Safari offer, with a full drop-down list, but it still exists.
The arch is filled with secrets
Another aspect of Arc should be almost like a scrapbook or a notepad. You can take things from all over the internet and insert them into “young”.
With easle, you can enter these static or live screenshots so that you can access them later. It works similarly to Notion, another productivity application that displays web pages in small fragments that you have recorded.
The best thing? YouTube videos work as expected. Is it ridiculously easy to match an easel to show someone a collection of notes that you have collected, and then make it so that all this can be interacted on one tab? Even better.
What is currently a disadvantage of Arc with all these different tools is that it refuses to bring them to the surface or even work the way you expect.
Tabs are the basis of the daily work of a modern web browser. Arc allows you to split the screen up to four times before you even start thinking about things like screen splitting in Windows and macOS.
This is a very convenient thing designed to store things that you do together. It also doesn’t work the way you expect. You can click shortcuts to access this split view, but it seems that The Browser Company has been struggling with different operating systems so that they don’t overwrite system-level shortcuts.
This means that things like accessing a new tab in a split view are not as easy as pressing Control+ Shift + T, and Control + instead Shift + =. It’s the same with easels, since you’ll need to press Control+Shift+E. This is an unnatural combination of pressing the keyboard, which has not entered the brain in two weeks.
We found that it is faster to create a new tab and then drag it into the space that will divide it.
After we installed Arc as the default browser, we were suddenly introduced to “Little Arc” after following a link in an email. It’s just a window that opens for quick internet access. However, Arc allows you to directly integrate it with one of your spaces. In normal browsers, you will have to copy the link and close the window.
It’s a small thing, but it immediately made the job easier.
Ark can stay
This is what concerns Arc. Small things. Tiny moments of exclaiming “Oh!” when something new is added or something new pops up that you didn’t pay attention to. This is smart software that can be an important step forward that the network has been striving for.
It seems that all the tools rely on the stagnation of the Internet. The expansion of borders will not happen in the near future, the network is too focused on serving a boring host. Instead, Arc seems to be more focused on providing better tools and a better experience for a network that doesn’t seem interested in making changes.
Ease of use, as well as turning the browser into a functional tool for everything you need, instead of relying on extensions, is something we are fully prepared to follow.