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This new iPhone app fuses AI with web search, saving you time and energy

Arc Search for the iPhone

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

A new app called Arc Search shows how AI and web search can work together to deliver search results that are both comprehensive and concise. 

Developed by the people behind the Arc browser and aimed at iOS for now, the new search tool kicks in several cool tricks to help you with your web searches. But one tool in particular shines above the rest.

A search option known as Browse for Me takes your search question or query and builds an entire webpage based on the provided information. Type a question such as “Has Amelia Earhart’s plane been found?” and tap the Browse for Me button. Arc Search scours a variety of different websites for the answer and delivers a compact webpage with the info you need.

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At the top is a gallery of images related to your question. Tap any image, and you’re taken to the corresponding website. Next are a series of bullet point items that summarize the key details of the generated information. After that are the top search results that Arc found. Below that are further bullet point items that flesh out the topic even further. And at the bottom are links to additional websites that offer a deeper look at specific aspects of your query.

In essence, Arc Search combines AI with a traditional search engine layered on top of a mobile browser. With the AI summaries, you can scan the basic facts about your topic. And with the website links, you’re able to further investigate any area of interest. You can even set Arc Search as your default mobile browser so that it will automatically open hyperlinks from other apps.

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Beyond the Browse for Me option, Arc Search kicks in other tools to help with your searches. You can easily start a new search by tapping the Search icon at the bottom. From there, a keyboard automatically pops up for you to enter your new query.

Arc Search keeps each tab open so you can quickly return to a previous search page. Just tap an icon at the bottom to view your open tabs. You can even close a tab just by flicking it off the screen. Plus, an auto-archive feature will remove inactive tabs after a while to avoid clutter.

A Reader Mode displays a clean and more readable version of a tab or page by eliminating unwanted elements. Using the Find on Page tool, you’re able to search for specific text on any webpage generated by Arc Search. You can also share or copy the URL of a webpage. Plus, Arc Search is privacy-minded in that it can block ads, cookies, banners, and trackers.

Also: The best AI image generators to try right now

To try Arc Search, download it from the App Store. Launch the app (no sign-up or account is required, thankfully). Then just dive in with your first question to see how the app fares.

Arc Search comes from The Browser Company of New York, developer of the Arc Max browser. Available for MacOS and coming soon to Windows via a current waitlist, Arc Max includes several handy AI-based tools.

An integrated ChatGPT is available to answer your questions. A Tidy Tab Title shrinks the name of a tab so you can better see it. The Tidy Downloads option renames downloaded files with more descriptive titles. A Five-Second Preview displays a summary and preview of a link if you hover over it. And an Ask On Page option can call on AI to grab information about a word or phrase on a website.


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