Arc Search: A Fusion of Browser, Search Engine, and AI Redefining the Norm

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A short while ago, I launched the recently developed Arc Search app and entered the query, “What happened in the Chiefs game.” The AFC Championship had just concluded, and rather than resorting to my usual routine of Googling, clicking on various links, and reading about the game, I opted for a different approach within Arc Search. I typed the query and selected the “Browse for me” button.

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Arc Search, a novel iOS app from The Browser Company, the minds behind the Arc browser, delved into action. It scoured the web, examining six pages—from Twitter to The Guardian to USA Today—and swiftly presented a plethora of information. In a matter of seconds, I received the headline (“Chiefs win”), the final score, key plays, a “notable event” (reiterating the Chiefs’ victory), details about Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, related links, and additional bullet points outlining various aspects of the game.

The Browser Company's new Arc Search browser

Essentially, Arc Search didn’t merely return a set of search queries; instead, it constructed a dedicated webpage about the Chiefs game. This approach aligns with The Browser Company’s overarching vision for the future of web browsers—the idea that a browser, search engine, AI chatbot, and website are not distinct entities but rather integral components of an internet information finder, coexisting seamlessly within the same application.

The introduction of the “Browse for me” feature signifies a significant evolution for the Arc browser. Historically, the company’s mobile app primarily served as a companion to the desktop, offering access to open tabs and little else. As Arc expands its reach to Windows users, The Browser Company is preparing to unveil its cross-platform syncing system, Arc Anywhere, and extend AI-powered features to other Arc platforms. According to CEO Josh Miller, the ultimate goal is for Arc Search to become the sole mobile app, eventually adopting the simplified name “Arc.”

While the “Browse for me” feature isn’t flawless, its capabilities are impressive. For example, when searching for “What’s Pete Davidson up to,” it provides broad-strokes information about his recent film and breakup, links to his Wikipedia page, news sites’ tag pages for Pete Davidson, and details about his personal and professional endeavors. Despite some limitations in source citation, the app’s “Dive Deeper” section offers additional links for further exploration.

Arc Search, powered by AI models from OpenAI and other sources, has shown substantial improvement during testing. The company’s commitment to AI, evident in features like Arc Max, positions it to evolve further as generative AI tools advance across the industry.

As a browser, Arc Search is appreciated for its simplicity, speed, and the user-friendly experience of opening to an empty search box on mobile devices. Nevertheless, The Browser Company finds itself entangled in complex AI discussions. Will they collaborate with content publishers? How will Arc’s AI attribute sources? To what extent should answers be personalized, and what are the implications? While specifics about future plans remain scarce, the company faces a multitude of unanswered questions.

From a product standpoint, Arc Search represents a step closer to an ideal AI search experience. While other products like Copilot and Perplexity.AI are intriguing, they essentially function as chatbots with web access. Arc Search envisions something different—an AI that explores websites by dynamically creating a new one each time a user makes a query.

Looking ahead, as millions prepare to ask the internet about the Super Bowl’s start time, I find comfort in knowing that I can rely on Arc Search’s “Browse for me” feature to not only provide the information I seek but also furnish additional details about the game and halftime show, making it a notably effective search result.