How Arc Search is changing the way we use the web on iOS

Arc Search logo in front of some Arc Search result pages
Credit: The Browser Company

Arc Search logo in front of some Arc Search result pages
Credit: The Browser Company

It's not easy for an app, especially with AI, to win me over, but the Arc Search app may have done that. Developed by The Browser Company and released only hours ago onto the App Store for iOS, Arc Search is a window into the future of how we'll browse the web, and it's as exciting as it is questionable.

The team over at The Browser Company are busy working on the Arc browser already, with the app available on Mac and iOS, however, it's also currently in beta testing for Windows. But compared to ChatGPT and CoPilot, The Browser Company's latest AI-focused app has already surprised me, despite being released only late last night and spotted by The Verge.

Described as "the default browser that browses for you" by The Browser Company founder Josh Miller on Twitter, Arc Search doubles as a standard internet browser that lets you control your search terms, but also offers an AI feature called "Browse for me". And, of course, the AI feature is what makes this app truly special.

When using it, the Browse for me button will gather information from various sites and create a unique "website" that shares everything you need. Searching up questions like "what is the Meta Quest 3" will give you all of the must-know specs, prices, and availability of the device straightaway, letting you know about the best VR headset as quickly as possible.

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Some Browse for me personalised websites don't do exactly what you need them to do, like searching "iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung S24 Ultra" only gives you a list of the competing points with no real conclusion. However, at least you can make your own conclusions from what the app delivers.

One of the major selling points, which Miller shared on Twitter, was the fact that the team wanted to develop a browser that gave you "the fastest way to get what you need", and it's fairly obvious when you use it. The Browse for me function delivers you a great rundown on what you've searched within seconds, but it does raise some pretty valid questions.

If Arc Search picks up in users and people make Browse for me the standard way of searching, will The Browser Company split the revenue amongst publications and media? And as more companies switch to paid AI, like ChatGPT Plus, or even Galaxy AI only being free until the end of 2025, despite being on the expensive S24 smartphones, will Arc Search be a paid app overtime?

It's already a difficult landscape for media, especially those in games media, with plenty of websites having layoffs due to the everchanging nature of the industry. If AI like this becomes more common and used frequently, that might lead to some more dire situations.

However, there's no doubt this is one of the best ways that AI has been used to browse websites and get you information in a fairly concise and quick way. Even using the ChatGPT Plus over the free option is like messaging a friend to give you the information as opposed to searching yourself, so Arc Search takes out "the friend" in this equation, and gives you what you want very fast.

Most companies right now are trying to figure out every major solution that AI can fix or make faster for users, which can lead to some fairly convoluted marketing strategies. However, this is how AI should be developed, by focusing on small, everyday problems, and how to use Artificial Intelligence to make your life easier.

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