Arc is a browser that my friend David Pierce described to as an attempt “the web’s OS system.” On March 30th, the companion app for iPhones will be available. The CEO of Arc developer The Browser Company said that the companion app will allow Arc users to access at least some features they have gotten used too on the desktop version.
The App Store listing states that the iOS browser can sync your desktop tabs or Spaces (read: tab groups, user accounts, pinned sites), and that you’ll also be able view whiteboard-esque Easels as well as your notes. You can also share Arc links that will be saved for later.
The release won’t be of much use to people who don’t have Arc installed, at least not yet. According to Ellis Hamburger (a spokesperson for the company) and alumni, you’ll need Arc set up on a Mac in order to use the iPhone app. Arc isn’t yet available for Windows. You will need to sign up for a waitlist, or receive an invitation from an Arc user to access the Mac version.
Arc has a unique view of how to use the internet. However, it is difficult to translate to smartphones. Although it makes sense that The Browser Company started with a companion app, rather than a full browser, I can see how the limitations of not being a full browser will disappoint those who would like to use Arc everywhere. The iPad version is not yet available.
ARC IS THE PRODUCT. YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT.
Miller also shared another reason his company is trying reinvent how we work, socialize and play. And why Google, with its enormous budget, is unlikely to restart Chrome.
He says, “Okay. The browser hasn’t changed in a few decades.” There’s a simple explanation. It has to do with business models. The reason the key players don’t want to change the browser is because it will hurt their business model.
Miller insists that Arc isn’t a Trojan horse to advertise, unlike Chrome. It isn’t trying to track you on the internet to sell you the latest Allbirds sneaker, or Away luggage. Since its inception, the Browser Company has received three rounds of funding from investors, totaling more than $30 million.
He said in a tweet, “One thing that we aren’t doing, ever is we aren’t going to sell your data anyone.” We are not trying to be the dominant browser market. We don’t wish to be a monopoly, but we don’t like how the browser market is trending… The internet is becoming increasingly important and there is only one browser, Chrome. Their entire business model is, “We’re basically spying on you?” It’s a chill thing, but don’t worry, you can trust it. We’ll monitor what you do online and make it available to advertisers. Keep in mind that our motivation is not to live under the Google golden arches.