Arc Browser: what it is, how it works and why there is so much talk about it

It seemed like we had seen everything or almost everything in the world of web browsers and instead here comes Arc Browser to sweep away, at least on paper, the “conventions” with which we were used to interfacing. The browser has become an increasingly central tool in our daily activities, whether we use it from a mobile device or desktop. Is no longer something-that-shows-HTML but an increasingly complete object that supports dozens and dozens of standards, different technologies, which it integrates advanced features and which supports the execution of Web applications in fact comparable to native programs installed on the device. Browsers also load WASM, a low-level binary format that serves as bytecode executable on a “virtual machine” within the browser itself. Unthinkable just a few years ago.

The idea behind Arc Browser

The New York startup The Browser Company presented its Arc Browser in April 2022, a program that allows you to browse the web by putting the user at the center. In March 2023, the company led by Josh Miller and Hursh Agrawal presented the version for macOS and then released the one for iOS devices in July. By the end of 2023, according to what has been revealed, it should be published Windows version: currently, by visiting the official website of the project, it is possible to sign up to the waiting list to be informed of the availability of Arc Browser for Windows.

Arc redesigns the‘experience of users online leaving them full power to decide which parts of a web page to highlight and how. The most important innovation is probably theinterface which eliminates all superfluous elements: Google Chrome was also born this way, then the browser was enriched with many new tools.

The idea behind Arc Browser is to create an operating system for the Internet. To “purists” and technologists it may seem like an out of place statement. The Web, in fact, is one of the many services available via the internet. But there is not only the Web: email, messaging, remote control, VoIP and video conferences, FTP, Telnet and SSH are just some (few) examples.

Furthermore, talking about the operating system is a bit excessive: first of all because we are faced with a browser, an application which is certainly not loaded when the device is started and which is not responsible for managing the hardware and software resources available on the machine. The developers of Arc Browser simply want to claim that their program does more than just handle the web browsing but it is proposed as a valid aid for every type of activity carried out every day by each user.

The browser must adapt to the user’s daily needs, without any more excuses

The goal is to make sure that it is the browser to adapt to the user and not vice versa, which – always second The Browser Company – is completely divorced from the logic of the industry giants.

The Internet network and the services offered have undergone continuous change evolution, in some cases even swirling. While all the software tools are changing for the better, with more collaborative features, flexible interfaces and powerful functionality, the browser still largely does what it did 25 years ago.

Miller and Agrawal explain that we often tend to blame ourselves browser defects. When the browser has a huge number of open tabs, we define ourselves as inefficient; when we get distracted online, we tell ourselves we need more discipline; when we can’t find a URL, we think we’re disorganized. Instead, the browser should take care of these problems.

What is Arc Browser and what are its main features

Let’s start by saying that Arc Browser is also based on the open source project Chromium. Il rendering engine which is responsible for correctly displaying all the elements that make up any page and web application is therefore always the same, the same used for example by Chrome and Edge.

Arc Browser offers a sidebar which contains all the essential parts of the interface, including the search bar, list of open tabs and bookmarks. The sidebar also hosts controls for audio and video playback, buttons for accessing specific web applications, a mechanism for organize cards and recover them quickly.


In the case of Arc Browser it is the “container” that changes radically: first of all, the interface offers ample space for contents and their organization. The functionality called Spaces allows you to organize everything you do online – work, study, hobbies – all in a single window. It is possible to switch from one viewing mode to the other when necessary, in order to have all the contents of interest as tidy as possible and immediately accessible.

Arc Browser Spaces

Split Screen and Themes

Tools like Split Screen allow you to find the perfect browser configuration for every occasion. While a browser like Edge is now timidly starting to introduce the possibility of dividing the navigation window, Arc Browser not only comes “as standard” with this possibility but allows you to show any type of content in the accessory “panels”. THE themesthen, they allow you to customize the browser interface both from a chromatic point of view and with the aim of improving the accessibility of the contents.

Arc Browser Split Screen

Customizing website graphics with Boost

Which is not easy to do with other competing browsers, except by installing particular addons, the functionality Boost of Arc Browser allows you to change the graphic interface of a site, hiding parts of the web page or emphasizing others. It is also possible to intervene directly on the fonts and character size.

The Command bar Furthermore, Arc Browser allows you to easily navigate between open tabs and recent activities in order to identify at a glance what you need from time to time.

Advanced features and integration with other products

The “creature” created by The Browser Company It also integrates multiple tools: there are those for take notescollaborative whiteboards, integration with the main tools for video conferencing come Google Meet.

The browser offers a special mode picture-in-picture which is not limited to displaying in a small window, overlaid on web pages, videos and other types of multimedia content but allows you to view the video stream of a meeting online while you continue to browse the web.

Privacy protection

Arc Browser was born, according to its developers, with first place privacy and the confidentiality of user data. The developer company does not know the websites that users visit, does not collect information on what is typed into the browser, does not sell any data to third parties.

The information recorded in any case is indicated on the privacy page: profile data or contact details provided by the user, device data e usage data of the product.

The underlying problem is that Arc Browser it is not open source: at present, although the developers intend to move in this direction, there is no repository public with the source code. This is a significant shortcoming that a large portion of users will not tolerate for long, unless things are destined to change in the future. And this despite the good overall impression that Arc Browser has aroused.

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