This new AI-powered iPhone browser trumps Safari by searching the web for you

Sick of struggling to find the answers to your search queries in Safari, Chrome, or any of the other best browsers on iOS? A new alternative has just emerged that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to do the searching for you, potentially helping you find accurate results much more quickly.

Called Arc Search, the app is made by The Browser Company of New York, an outfit that has also made the desktop Arc browser that captured headlines in 2023. With Arc Search, the developer has added a bunch of interesting features that could see it supplant your current favorite browser on your iPhone.

First among them is the app’s 'Browse for Me' feature. When you enter a search query, you can view a standard page of results in your search engine of choice, or you can instead tap the Browse for Me button. This uses AI to gather information from six different sources, then builds a custom web page that displays all the key information you need to answer your search query.

This can include useful photos and videos, bullet-pointed text, and more. It’s a clever way to pull in information from a variety of sources and ensure you stand a good chance of getting what you need at the first attempt, without having to endlessly scroll through useless information and unhelpful websites.

Privacy protections

The Arc Search web browser for iOS running on an iPhone, with various search results displayed.

(Image credit: Future)

Arc Search comes with other handy features besides Browse for Me. For instance, you can tell it to block ads, trackers and GDPR cookie banners on all websites. That’s a great way to protect your privacy by default, although it’s not clear if the app actually opts out of cookies on GDPR banners or simply hides them.

Arc Search will also automatically archive inactive tabs after one day, which might come in handy for people who struggle to control their tab overload (such as yours truly). And there’s a reader mode that strips out unnecessary visual elements to give you a more focused experience.

Some of features aren’t available in Browse for Me, though. For instance, you can’t share your custom pages or copy a link to them, nor can you view them in reader mode. Perhaps these tools will come later.

Regardless, Arc Search is an intriguing alternative to the usual suspects when it comes to iOS browsers, and could make its own claim to the best browser title if it continues to add interesting features. If you want to try it out, it’s free to download on the iOS App Store with no subscriptions or in-app purchases to worry about.

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Google Chrome update makes searching your history less of a nightmare

Google is reportedly testing out a new feature for its browser that will make searching through your browsing history and bookmarks even easier in Chrome.

First spotted by Chrome Story, the search giant has added a new experimental flag to Chrome's omnibox that enables support for search keywords.

For those unfamiliar, Chrome's omnibox suggests potential queries when the “Autocomplete searches and URLs” feature is turned on in the browser's settings. This makes searching for information faster and easier as users don't have to type in an entire search query into the address bar to find exactly what they're looking for.

Search tags

The new experimental flag in question is called “Omnibox Site Search Starter Pack” and it enables @history, @bookmarks and @settings to be used as search tags when typing in Chrome's address bar.

By using these tags when searching in Google's browser, you'll be able to specify that you only want to search in your history, bookmarks or in Chrome's settings. 

For instance, let's say you were reading a news article about Chromebooks on your smartphone but had to stop and do something else. If you want to find it again later, you can simply type Chromebooks @history to quickly bring up the article and continue reading.

According to Chrome Story, this new feature hasn't yet been enabled in the latest Chrome beta or Canary releases, so it might be a while before you get to try it out for yourself. Still though, search tags in Chrome's omnibox will not only help users save time but it may even make them more productive.

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