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Ansub Khan

Engineer & Designer

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A Rollercoaster Ride with Arc

January 13, 2024 (5mo ago)

I have been using Arc since its beta days. I was among the first few batches of users who started using Arc back in August 2022. What I immediately loved about Arc is how fresh it looked. The UI caught my eye instantly, and the smooth onboarding experience with a dope music in the beginning made me fall in love with Arc. It felt like the first time in browser history that someone was trying to be different from others and had no shame in trying new things!

Ansub_Arc

Initially, the days were smooth, but there were a lot of bugs towards the end. Since it was in beta, it was expected. However, the best part was how engaged the team was. They used to listen to what people wanted and made those changes. I remember being excited about the changelogs of Arc because there used to be something new and exciting features along the way.

But then I stopped using Arc because of sidebar tabs. I don't know why, but I kinda liked the tabs appearing on the top because I was so used to it and have seen it since I was 9 years old. I stopped liking my browser tabs appearing on the left, and there were no developer-friendly tools at that time. As a Software Engineer, I ultimately switched from Arc to Chrome.

But it was not like I completely abandoned Arc. I used to do my daily browsing and email checking on Arc, and eventually got used to the sidebar, as every other SaaS product I use has a sidebar. So, why not have a browser with a sidebar as well? Plus, it's easy to hide. I did the rest of my development work on Chrome. However, when they released development tools and it became very stable, I started using Arc again. Since then, I am Team Arc, and I love what they are trying to achieve. It's the toughest market according to me in the software world, and they are very committed to their mission, which is great.

But everything has pros and cons, so here's what I have to say about Arc. I don't want to end on a negative note, so I will discuss the cons first, and then the pros.

Cons:

  • Download UI: The download UI is confusing for me. I never liked it and always miss out on files I have downloaded. I use Finder to see what I have downloaded.
  • Profile Option: The only thing I want from profile is for it to act like a different profile. For example, in my use case, I have to switch from my company's X account to my personal one. If this can be done directly in the profile, that would be great.
  • Boost: Boost feels very gimmicky to me. It was like I had fun with it for the first 10 minutes and then never used it ever again.

Pros:

  • Arc Max: it has been a blast for me, as it allows me to see website summaries without opening them and use AI in the find option not only that it also cleans up download name of file and the tabs when you pin them.
  • Profile Option: Although I criticized the profile option in the cons, I really enjoy using it. It allows me to easily switch between coding environments, writing in Notion, or watching YouTube videos.

Like the title of this article suggests, my experience with Arc was like a roller coaster ride. but like any roller coaster ride, the end result is usually either "I'm glad I did it" or "Oh, it was such a thrilling experience." And the same is true for me with Arc.

You can try Arc yourself.

Thank you for reading.

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