Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

After about six months of beta testing, Arc Browser is now available on Windows 11. While this browser may be too unconventional for some users, its unique capabilities and gorgeous design should make everyone excited for the future of web browsing.

The Arc Browser initially launched on macOS in 2022. Its creator, The Browser Company, is laser-focused on changing how we use web browsers and takes risks in the name of innovation. Even at a glance, Arc Browser looks alien—it uses a collapsible sidebar for tabs and bookmarks, it places an emphasis on split-screen browsing, and it’s incredibly colorful.

Arc also contains a multitude of unique features. A Spotlight-like universal search shortcut lets you navigate the web using natural language, you can summarize web pages with AI, and a collaborative Easel “scrapbook” page encourages you to share Arc with others. Some of these features are missing from today’s Windows 11 release, though the Windows version adds touchscreen support.

As with most new browsers, Arc is Chromium-based. It’s compatible with all websites and supports Chrome extensions.

But, unlike Chrome or Edge, the Arc Browser isn’t built in C++. It uses Swift, a memory-safe programming language developed by Apple. The White House and NSA are encouraging developers to ditch C++ for memory-safe languages like Swift and Rust, so this could give Arc Browser the upper hand in terms of software security (though plenty of users question Arc’s privacy and security). The Browser Company brought Swift to Windows specifically for Arc Browser and maintains a Substack full of Swift development tutorials.

We reviewed the Arc Browser on macOS around this time last year. While it wasn’t a perfect experience, we were shocked by some of the browser’s unique features, including its Spotlight-like universal search tool and “Easel” collaboration service.

Note that Arc Browser requires an account, and its mobile app (which is currently limited to iOS) is just as unorthodox as the desktop app. This browser is attempting to do things in a new way, which some people won’t appreciate.

You can download Arc Browser for Windows 11 or macOS today. There isn’t a waitlist, though I’d like to reiterate that Arc Browser requires an account. A Windows 10 version of Arc Browser is in the works, and The Browser Company has ported Swift to Windows on ARM to prepare for the oncoming glut of ARM-based PCs.

Source: The Browser Group

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By John P.

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