Is the Arc browser the ultimate tool for developers? | BitBakery Software

Is the Arc browser the ultimate tool for developers?

April 5th, 2024 by Attila Schmidt

You may use Safari, Microsoft Edge or Chrome as your daily browsers, but there are dozens of competitors trying to earn their place on your desktop or smartphone. They all promise speed, security, and efficiency, and the choices make it easy to feel overwhelmed. 

But, amidst the sea of familiar and unfamiliar names, a new contender has emerged—the ARC browser. Developed by The Browser Company, Arc is redefining the browsing experience, boasting various innovative features aimed at streamlining workflows and enhancing productivity.

I’ve been using it as my primary browser for a few months now, and here are the features that have earned it the coveted “default browser” setting on my workstation.

Spaces: Organizing Your Digital Realm

One of my favourite features of ARC is its implementation of Spaces. This feature allows you to categorize your browsing experience, creating dedicated environments for different projects or personas. As a developer working on multiple projects, having the ability to make a Space for each project has been a game changer.

Everything associated with a project, from bookmarks to requirements to the project in Jira, is easily accessible in the sidebar. Unlike in Google Chrome, the tabs in Arc don’t automatically close when you quit the browser. They’re there when you launch the browser, making switching projects much faster.

This might not seem like a big deal, but I always found so many windows and tabs open when using Chrome. With Arc, I only need one browser window. There aren’t multiple instances of Chrome, which means a more streamlined workflow. You can quickly move items between Spaces, too, by simply right-clicking an item and choosing which Space to send it to.

Arc does more than simply let you organize your content—it also understands what you’re trying to do. If I have a website with “localhost” in a Space, Arc will automatically launch developer tools, so I’m ready to debug. It does the same when you navigate away from a Google Meet window. Arc will launch the video call into a separate pop-up out window so you can continue to see who you’re talking to. 

Boosts: Tailoring Your Browsing Experience

ARC's Boosts feature lets you customize your browsing experience with CSS and JavaScript overrides. Boosts can help you work smarter by optimizing layouts and automating repetitive tasks. Like Spaces, Boosts are a way to add a personalized touch to the browsing experience. Even better, Boosts are shareable—so you can create custom experiences to share with your team, friends, or family.

Boosts let you change any website's colours, fonts, and other elements. Love Comic Sans? Make it the default font for your RSS feed in Feedly. Want to force dark mode on a site that doesn’t support it yet? Boosts have you covered. Also, since they use CSS and JavaScript, you can create almost any custom experience across the site you use.

But what really sets Boosts apart is that you can select elements on a page and hide them. Think about sections on a site you never use, like the comments section. Create a Boost, and you will never have to see them again.

AI Integration: Streamlining Content Consumption

ARC's integration of AI extends beyond customization. It can also provide AI-generated summaries of articles. First, you must turn on the AI features for this to work. Once enabled, you only need to hover over a news item and press shift, and Arc will generate a summary. Arc’s AI will also rename your files to something more human-readable. You can also ask questions when you use CMD-F for search. Instead of searching for a word, you can ask it a question related to the page you have opened.

It’s an exciting feature, but not one I use every day. As Arc’s intelligence improves, this could become worthwhile.

Pinning and Auto-Closing Tabs: A Game-Changer for Organization

Gone are the days of tab overload and scattered windows. With ARC, you can pin essential tabs within Spaces, making it easy to access frequently used resources. Pins are like bookmarks but without the commitment. I find they’ve helped me keep my workspace organized. I’m not hunting for the right bookmark or window because everything is right where I need it to be.

Embracing the future of browsing

ARC represents a paradigm shift in web browsers by prioritizing organization, customization, and efficiency. Whether you're a developer, designer, or avid internet user, ARC lets you reimagine how you browse the web—one Space, Boost, and AI-driven insight at a time.

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