The ambitious team from The Browser Company expects to change the way we use the internet with the introduction of the Arc Search browser. It combines three features into one single tool designed to save time: a browser, a search engine, and an AI chatbot.
Traditionally, search engines provide a listicle with top search results. The main idea of Arc Search is to summarize the information the user needs from multiple websites. Usually, six of them.
The Arc Search tool comes as a clean but limited-in-features browser with a new search capability built in.
After entering a search phrase, the user can choose the “Browse for Me” option, which reads six relevant websites and then compiles a separate web page from them that includes a summary, top search results, and links to dive deeper into the topic.
Arc Search creators declare their aims to put users’ needs first by directly providing them with the information without the need to read through multiple web pages cluttered with banners or other unrelated content.
“It's a browser that browses for you. We're combining the three essential elements of the internet, a web browser, search engines, and web pages into a single, cohesive tool, all designed to save you time,” Josh Miller, the co-founder and CEO, said in a promotional video clip. “Why go to a search engine when we can bring the links directly to you? Why read a web page when we can read ten in the same amount of time?”
The startup also released an “instant links” feature, which directly takes users to searched content instead of providing links. Miller also showed a feature that makes folders of search results. The user asked for a “folder of Apple Vission pro reviews,” and Arc Search created a folder with links from different publications. In the longer term, Arc wants to seamlessly anticipate and realize the user's intent “without you even touching your keyboard.”
In their video, the startup took shots at Google, saying that existing web browsers like Chrome are constrained in their ability to innovate because Google’s business model relies on ad revenues and time spent on their search engine. And other browsers “make their money by making Google the default search engine.”
Arc, somewhat ironically, itself comes with Google as its default search engine.
Both Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing with Copilot offer similar features. Arc tries to distinguish itself as an agent to whom you tell what “you're trying to do, and Arc will go and do it for you.”
Additionally, the new tool shares similar issues with other large language models. Mashable reported that Arc Search lacks apparent content guardrails and sometimes provides deeply disturbing results.
The Arc Search app can be downloaded for free on iPhones or Apple computers, it is unclear when it will come to Android. Reviews on the App Store are positive, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.
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