After staying in invite-only mode for more than a year, The Browser Company’s Arc browser is now available to everyone. The company is also bumping up the browser version number to 1.0 with this announcement. The startup also unveiled a revamped website with this launch.
Arc is currently only available for Mac users, but the company is planning to launch a Windows version later this year.
In 2021, The Browser Company raised $5 million from high-profile investors, such as LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Medium’s Ev Williams, and Figma’s Dylan Field, in an attempt to build a new web browsing experience. The company was founded by Joshua Miller and Hrush Agrawal in 2019.
What the heck is an Arc browser?
The Browser Company uses Chromium as the base architecture for the Arc browser. That means you can easily port your saved bookmarks, logins, and extensions.
But new users could potentially face a steep learning curve given that it has a different way of treating tabs — they look more like applications. If you get used to getting around the browser using keyboard shortcuts, life with Arc will be easier. It’s a nerdy product, so there are tons of customizable shortcuts for different actions.
You can create different “Spaces” like “Work,” “Entertainment,” “Vacation” and “Notetaking” to store different tabs related to them so you can quickly access them. You can pin six tabs/sites that are common across spaces, and you can also pin tabs inside of spaces. Plus, this new browser also has built-in note-taking and whiteboard tools. I know, it’s complicated.
Its approach of putting tabs in the sidebar and archiving them rather than closing them altogether might push people to give up within a few hours of using it. The company hopes that the revamped website gives more information about the browser before people even try it out, making the learning curve easier.
What have they rolled out in the past few months?
Arc is pretty much a desktop browser, but they recently rolled out an iPhone app that helps you put tabs into spaces while browsing on mobile, so you can access them later.
The company also rolled out a fun feature called Boosts that lets you change the theme and layout of a website — including removing some sections and buttons — without any coding skills.
In the last few weeks, Arc has introduced a toolbar that lives atop the browser window, making accessing the URL bar and site settings easier. Before this rollout, users had to go to the sidebar to access these features.
The company has also introduced picture-in-picture support for Google Meet, a per-site control center to enable or disable boosts, developer mode, and picture-in-picture settings. Additionally, the startup has also made tweaks to improve multi-window support along with speed improvements.
Many browsers in the market including Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Sigma OS have integrated an AI assistant. Arc is also thinking about integrating AI into its browser. The company recently showed a demo about how AI can help Arc users change some elements of the website. In other words, The Browser Company still plans to ship updates with new features after this v1 release.