Arc's new iPhone browser wants to be your search companion

Image credits: Browser company

The browser company launched its first companion app for Arc on the iPhone last year, allowing users to save links for consumption on the desktop app later. The company has now released a new mobile app, called Arc Search, that aims to focus on the search experience.

Powered by AI, Browse for Me returns a precisely crafted web page with information about your search query. The feature, supported by models from OpenAI and others, reads at least six web pages and creates a new page with different sections.

Image credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

For example, when I searched for “how to make a perfect hard-boiled egg,” Arc Search created a page for me with sections like “Ingredients & Tools,” “Poaching Technique,” ​​“Cooking Process,” and additional tips. The page also contained a collection of useful photos and videos.

Image credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

The browser also provided a neat summary for me when I asked “what changes has Apple made to the App Store in response to the DMA.” Although it did not explain all the points, the web page contained the gist of the announcements made by the Cupertino-based tech giant.

These pages are great for me to get quick information, and I can also use the “Dig deeper” section to explore additional links listed for the topic. However, currently I cannot share these pages with anyone unless I take a screenshot.

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Other features

If users don't want to use the AI-powered feature, they can just click on the query to use Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia — whatever you've set as the default.

It is worth noting that the browser company announced last week that users can set Preplexity as their default search engine On the Arc desktop client. But it is not clear whether this option will be available to the mobile customer.

There is also a reader mode for all web pages to make reading easier and you can bookmark the web page as well. But there is no folder system to store these bookmarks.

Arc Search Browser also archives tabs after a day (this is customizable) to protect you from tab overload. You can look at your open tabs through the tab switcher on the bottom bar, or you can swipe and hold from the left edge of the screen.

Arc Mobile will archive your tabs automatically

Image credits: Browser company

Additionally, Arc Search automatically blocks GDPR pop-ups, newsletters, ads, and trackers. Unlike the first companion browser, you can set this as the default browser on iPhone.

Why did Arc build a browser this way?

Josh Miller, CEO of Browser Company, said in a thread on X that the startup wanted to create the fastest way to search for things because that's what most people do with phone browsers. So it started with the search bar in the middle. It opens with a keyboard so you can start typing your query right away.

With its new search page creation feature, the new Arc Search browser wants to make you feel like you're interacting with an AI agent that will do the heavy lifting of searching things out, summarizing the content, and presenting it well. We've seen this kind of approach with Google's Generative Search Experience (SGE) or Perplexity AI. On the other hand, browsers have primarily introduced AI-powered features to summarize pages or help you write posts. Arc Search attempts to merge these two distinct surfaces.

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What then?

For now, Arc will keep its mobile companion for keeping links alive, but it plans to integrate both browser clients at a later stage.

Furthermore, the company said that it plans to launch cross-browser syncing. Miller said in his post that as the company begins to ramp up its Windows client rollout, it can't rely solely on iCloud. That's why the team is building Arc's own sync experience, which will launch soon.

Arc started with a queue system for Mac and dropped it last year for anyone to download. The Windows client, which is in beta, still supports a queuing system. With the new Arc Search client, the company wanted to have a low-barrier entry point for users where they don't have to create an account and start browsing right away.

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